World of Warcraft Sets Off Violent Real-Life Battle


Posted February 17, 2010 - By Stephen Johnson

World of Warcraft Sets Off Violent Real-Life BattleMMO World of Warcraft touched off a violent brawl that ended in bloodshed, arrest and ignominy for a family in Manatee County, Florida.

It began last week. Twenty-seven year-old gamer James Swan was immersed in World of Warcraft in a bedroom he shares with several children. Apparently, Swan was drinking and was growing increasingly loud. (I imagine he was screaming "50 DKP MINUS!" at the top of his lungs.) Anyway, his moms told him to quiet down, and Swan grabbed her hair and threw her onto a bed. Then, he grabbed his own son and threw him onto the bed.

His mom ran into the kitchen to call the cops, but Swan chased after her, grabbed the telephone and ripped it from the wall. He then slammed his own head into the kitchen wall, jumped on his mom and started strangling her, while threatening to kill her.

Enter Grandpa: Swan's grandfather tried to stop the strangulation, but was unable, so he grabbed a handgun and he and Swan tussled. The gun went off: BLAM. A bullet was found lodged in the porch, and another, apparently, lodged itself somewhere in Swan's head: Medical professionals noted a bullet entry wound, but no exit wound.

Then the cops showed up and took Swan off to the hoosegow, but were kind enough to release the charming mugshot you see above. He'll face charges for strangling his mom and throwing his kid.

Obviously, this is not a story about World of Warcraft. It's a story about a bunch of unhappy people in Manatee County. Warcraft is not to blame, because here's how the same scene might have played out in my house.

LIGHTS UP on Steve Johnson playing Wow and drinking Scotch.

Steve: Damn these shadow priests! Face = melted!

Steve's Wife: Honey, can you please be quieter? You're waking the baby.

Steve: Of course! I'll put on headphones and stop yelling to myself.

Steve's Wife: Oh, thank you! Let me pour you some more scotch.


That's a much less exciting scene, I admit, but it doesn't end up with a bullet lodged in anyone's head and felony charges.

Source: Sarasota Herald Tribune

World of Warcraft Sets Off Violent Real-Life Battle


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