Free appointment
Call 24/7

02 8815 8167

Super Mario has been stomping on heads since the early 80’s, but no one has ever accused the Italian plumber of being responsible for crime. More recently, however, video games such as Fortnite and Grand Theft Auto, have been condemned for playing a role in the commission of criminal offences.

Criminal lawyer Steven Mercael has experienced a marked increase in criminal charges where video games are perceived as playing a role, especially assaults. Mr Mercael, who represents Fortnite gamer Luke Munday in an assault case that drew international headlines, has urged caution in blaming video games for crime.

Below is a list of 10 crimes that video games have been blamed for and the basis, flimsy or otherwise, of the accusations.


1. An Oregon man on LSD leads police on a 60km car chase, thinking he is playing Grand Theft Auto

An Oregon man took LSD, stole a car, and led police on a 60km car chase, believing he was living a real-life version of Grand Theft Auto.

During the car chase, the man crashed through fences, ran over spike strips twice and drove on the road. Upon crashing the car, he tried ramming a police car before running into a trailer park where he was arrested trying to steal another car.

The man was charged with driving under the influence of intoxicants, second-degree criminal mischief, third-degree escape, unauthorised use of a motor vehicle, attempting to elude a police officer, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, unlawful entry into a motor vehicle, interfering with a police officer, reckless endangering, reckless driving and offensive littering.

person holding Sony PS3 controller in front of flat screen monitor



2. Russian man found guilty of inciting religious hatred after playing Pokemon Go in Church

A 22-year-old Russian blogger was charged with inciting religious hatred after he filmed himself in Church and mocked Christianity by likening Jesus Christ to a Pokemon character. The blogger decided to play Pokemon Go inside the church because he had seen a news report saying people who did so could be fined or jailed.

The man filmed himself trying to ‘catch em all’ in the church, before leaving and making the remark: “But, you know, I didn’t catch the rarest Pokémon that you could find there — Jesus.”

The blogger was given a suspended three-and-a-half-year jail sentence and was temporarily confined to a pre-trial detention centre.

The mobile game, Pokemon GO, being played at a park



3. A Sydney man is captured on Twitch assaulting his wife who interrupted his game of Fortnite

A Sydney man was charged with assaulting his wife after she asked him to stop playing Fortnite and come eat with their family. To get her husband off the game, the wife threw objects at him, including her shoe. While this was happening, the man was livestreaming himself playing Fortnite on Twitch. The live-stream captured audio of the incident during including screaming and a loud slapping sound. The video went viral.

The man subsequently apologised and went to relationship counselling with his wife.

Person playing Fortnite on Nintendo Switch



4. Minecraft gamer tries to frame games server with a hoax email to blow up schools

A disgruntled Minecraft player was behind a hoax email sent to about 400 schools in England threatening to bomb school grounds if money was not paid. Schools in London, Manchester and North Yorkshire, were evacuated in response to the bomb threat.

The email appeared to come from gaming server VeltPvP, but the company said the account had been “spoofed” and the hoax emails had been sent in a bid to damage VeltPvP’s reputation.

A scene of a meadow from the computer game, Minecraft.



5. A 45-year-old gamer threatens to shoot 11-year-old boy after losing to him on Fortnite

A New York man threatened to shoot an 11-year-old boy after losing a Fortnite: Battle Royale match. The man sent the boy threatening text and voice messages on Xbox One after the loss. In the threats, the man told the boy he would come to his home and cause him pain and mentioned coming to the boy’s school. The two knew each other through gaming and had no other relationship outside of that sphere.

The man was charged with second-degree aggravated harassment and acting in a manner to injure a child.

Boy playing Fortnite on his computer with a headset on

 

CLICK HERE TO READ THE NEXT 5 GAMES ON OUR LIST OF GAMES BLAMED FOR CRIMES

Or read one of our other recent blog posts below:

Or read one of our other blog posts below:

Would Cardinal George Pell be in prison if he committed the same crimes in a different

Continued: Gamers Gone Wild: 10 crimes committed by gamers and why video games are being blamed for them

Law Review: Should stoners be allowed to drive cars?

Tasmanian Death Match Wrestling – Why aren’t wrestlers charged with assault?

War on Drugs Lost. Should drugs be decriminalised?

Testimonials

I would like to thank Omar Dannawi for his assistance regarding my criminal matter. His professionalism, knowledge and support during... Read the review here

Lisa Bogomiagkov
9/17/2021

We would like to thank Omar Dannawi for his professionalism, dedication and mostly for his understanding when assisting us in... Read the review here

Neha Prasad
9/17/2021

Steven at Australian Criminal Law Group was excellent to deal with. Dealing with a lawyer can be quite frightening but... Read the review here

fadie Odeh
9/08/2021

I used Steven for my matter and from the beginning he was helpful and informative. He ended up getting a... Read the review here

Lisa Alam
8/24/2021

As a client I received a professional service and exceptional advice at a very fair value compared to quotes from... Read the review here

Dylahn Goodall
8/23/2021

As a client I received a professional service and exceptional advice at a very fair value compared to quotes from... Read the review here

Dylahn Goodall
8/13/2021

I recommend Steven Mercael. He was always very responsive, 7 days a week. He eventually handled my personal matter better... Read the review here

Jean-Baptiste Lanfrey
8/11/2021

Excellent Law firm that has a wealth of knowledge and expertise and who take an interest in their client's case.... Read the review here

Charles Rahim
8/10/2021

Joe Correy and his team were amazing. They guided us through one of the most difficult times of our lives... Read the review here

Rebecca Molloy
7/29/2021

Steven Mercael customised my defence to suit my unique situation and who I am as a person. His communication... Read the review here

Soleil Harper
7/19/2021

Don’t wait.
Get in touch now.

CONTACT US