Gamer Kidnapped at Gunpoint for Password
Brazilian authorities have arrested four men in Sao Paulo after the gang kidnapped a man and held him at gunpoint for his password to a video game account.
The victim is reportedly one of the world's top players of 'GunBound,' an appropriately named role-playing game, which is incredibly popular in Brazil. In the game, the better you perform in battle, the more skills and experience you earn, as well as money to buy in-game items such as armor and weapons. Apparently, the victim's character is so built up with skills, experience and extra weapons that the kidnappers believed they'd be able to sell the character on the black market for as much as $8,000.
The kidnapping began when the victim was approached by the girlfriend of one of the criminals on Oukrut, Google's social networking site, which is also very popular in Brazil. The two made plans to meet offline at a shopping mall. But, instead of meeting a date, the victim met the business end of a gun barrel. He was taken away and held hostage at gunpoint for five hours as the gang tried to pry the account password out of him. Amazingly (and perhaps, idiotically), the man didn't squeal and the criminals eventually gave up and released him. They were apprehended shortly after.
This isn't the first time the online video game behavior has gotten a person into trouble in the real world. In 2005, a Chinese man was stabbed to death by his friend over a beef in the game 'Legend of Mir 3.' The victim had borrowed a highly sought after virtual sword from his friend, but then turned around and sold it to another player for real cash outside of the game. When the sword's rightful owner discovered the sale, he reported it to the police. Of course, the police had no idea what to do about the theft of a virtual sword, so an investigation was never made. That's when the sword's owner took matters into his own hands by picking up a real-life blade and stabbing his friend to death.
The moral of the story here: If you're playing online, then it isn't just a game. You're playing with and against people who exist in the real world and could probably find your front door step if they really wanted to.
From Boing Boing