A virtual knife fight led to real-world bloodshed.
News of this sort was bound to surface. After all, who hasn't felt a little fear when other players take the game too far and threaten to show up on your doorstep? That's apparently what has happened over in France: a Counter-Strike in-game fight led to real-world bloodshed, not virtual globs of violet and red.
Twenty-year-old Counter-Strike gamer Julien Barreaux got into a virtual knife fight with another player known only as "Mikhael," The fight came to an abrupt end with Barreaux's character hitting the floor dead. Enraged, Barreaux spent the next six months tracking down Mikhael. He eventually discovered his nemesis living only a couple of miles away in Cambrai, a town two hours north of Paris.
As if mirroring the virtual knife fight, Barreaux armed himself with a real-life kitchen knife and went to the man's house. Once the door was opened, Barreaux whipped out the knife and plunged it into Mikhael's chest. The victim survived, escaping death by less than an inch as the knife passed next to his heart, missing its target.
Local police arrived an hour later and apprehended the irate gamer. Officials said that Barreaux admitted to his game-related motives behind the attack, saying that he "wanted to see his rival wiped out for killing off his character." Needless to say, Barreaux is now behind bars, serving a two-year sentence and forced into anger management therapy.
The judge behind his sentencing was mortified. "You are a menace to society," Judge Alexiane Potel said. "I am frankly terrified of the disproportionate reaction you could have if someone looked at you the wrong way in the street."
There was no indication of any smack-talk taking place during the Counter-Strike interaction.