A teenager in Vancouver has learned a valuable life lesson after a group of fellow gamers, tired of his DotA trash-talking, tracked him down at school and broke his fingers.

Vancouver police are investigating an incident in which a student at Eric Hamber Secondary School in Vancouver, British Columbia, was attacked and beaten during his lunch hour on Monday. The assault was apparently sparked by trash-talking during a game of Defense of the Ancients, a popular Warcraft 3 custom scenario, in which the victim and some friends soundly trounced their opponents.

The attackers, described as a group of four or five males in their “late teens,” located the victim at his school, where they made him kiss their feet before they went to work on him with “batons” of some sort, breaking his fingers.

“I guess some people take these things exceptionally seriously,” said Constable Lindsey Houghton of the Vancouver Police. “It’s something that is exceptionally rare, given the number of people who play videogames. Most people can separate reality from online fiction.”

Computer science professor emeritus Robert Rosenberg, however, said he wasn’t surprised by the assault, noting that real-life incidents stemming from online encounters are becoming increasingly common. “There are some emotions that seem to be amplified in the online world,” he said. “Things that happen on the Internet that affect your status can be very serious.”

For the record, I don’t condone violence, especially not over something as insignificant as winning or losing a videogame. That said, I think maybe it’s time to review one of the easy-to-remember yet ever-so-useful rules for good living, both online and off: If you’re about to say something to someone online that would get you punched in the mouth if you said it to their face, don’t say it.

The Vancouver Police Youth Squad is investigating the attack but thus far, no arrests have been made.

Source: Vancouver Sun

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