Gaming community reacts to swatting indictments
After the death of Andrew Finch - due to a hoax "swatting" call made over an online argument - the gaming community started gaining media attention, and not necessarily the kind they wanted to get.
We talked to the CEO of Wichita Esports and the owner of Next Level Cafe, a gaming centered coffee shop, who both say the federal charges against three man involved in the swatting are the right move.
On a given day at
in Wichita, you'll find plenty of gamers, but you're unlikely to find anyone who's every been swatted.
"It's very rare. Used as more of a joke these days more than anything else." says Next Level owner Viet Hong, though he's quick to point out that swatting is nothing to joke about.
Even though it's rare, it's still something that gets a lot of attention when it does happen - especially when the results turn deadly.
" It's unfortunate that he got so much coverage, and it's unfortunate that it all happened that way - but that doesn't represent not even like a small percentage." Hong says, referring the the percentage of total members of the gaming community.
"This doesn't happen very often, but it puts a - more or less - a stain on everybody's reputation that considers themselves gamers." says Ramsey Jamoul. He's the CEO of
, a local startup that hosts competitive gaming tournaments for professional and amateur players.
He says what happened in December doesn't reflect the vast majority of gamers.
"Most gamers aren't criminals, to put it bluntly." he says. "We have quite a few gamers who strive to make this their profession and their career - and they'd never stoop to something this low just to get a game in and win."
The fact that a video game argument resulted in someone's death is an extreme example of online behavior, and it's behavior that he and his team try to prevent.
"That's the whole intention, to bring gamers together, show off what we're doing - Wichita State's Esports program, Maize complete's esports program, as well as give everybody a platform to meet the people they play with." Jamoul says.
As for the gamers involved in the swatting case, both Jamoul and Hong say they're getting what they deserve.
"It's frankly illegal, they shouldn't have done it, and this is the consequence of their actions."
"If it wasn't for them, this whole incident could've just been completely avoided. Shouldn't have happened at all."