One man lost his cool after losing to an 11-year-old in Fortnite, police say.
Police say 45-year-old Michael Aliperti sent threatening messages to the preteen at around 9 p.m. on Monday after his loss in the online multiplayer game, according to Fox5.
The man, who sent verbal and text messages over his Xbox, warned that he planned to shoot the boy, who is from Kings Park, New York, police say. Aliperti added that he might even shoot the boy while he was at school, police say, according to NBC New York.
Police say they arrested Aliperti — who met the boy through other underage Fortnite players — at his home early Tuesday in Huntington, New York, Newsday reported. The man was reportedly charged with second-degree aggravated harassment and acting in a manner to injure a child.
Authorities planned to arraign the man on Tuesday, according to NBC New York.
Stuart Cameron, chief of the Suffolk County Police Department, said it was an unsettling crime, according to Newsday.
“I find this to be a very troubling thing,” he said. “It’s kind of shocking to me.”
It’s not the first time Fortnite has caused issues.
The U.K.-based website Divorce Online said 5 percent of divorce filings it has received since January 2018 cite Fortnite as a reason for the split. That means about 200 of the total 4,665 divorce petitions have complained that Fortnite had an adverse effect on a couple’s bond.
“Addiction to drugs, alcohol and gambling have often been cited as reasons for relationship breakdowns but the dawn of the digital revolution has introduced new addictions,” a spokesperson for the company said in a press release. “These now include online pornography, online gaming and social media, so it is no surprise to us that more and more people are having relationship problems because of our digital addictions. ”
While Fortnite has apparently pushed some to divorce, it has pushed others to work even harder to master their gaming skills.
The website Gamersensei.com, for example, offers to help “find your perfect coach for a live one-on-one lesson in Fortnite.” It promises to give clients coaching “to get better and faster and achieve your gaming goals.”
Ori Eiran, a boy from Palo Alto, California, told KPIX5 in an interview that a friend’s parents agreed to pay for a trainer to help their son get better in the game.
“They thought he was good enough to play eSports and join a competitive team and win money and so they decided to build on his strengths,” Eiran told the TV station. “And he really wanted it and was pushing for it for a really long time.”
And some have been scammed while playing the game.
Krista Kneeland-Pearson said she caught her 8-year-old son, Charlie, looking through her wallet — as scammers were trying to persuade the boy to send over pictures of his mom’s credit cards in return for digital money in Fortnite, according to KARE11. The person — sending text messages from North Carolina — also wanted pictures of the front and back of the mom’s driver’s license.
“I really didn’t want to do it,” Charlie told KARE11. “They just kept on telling me to and then I didn’t want them to get mad at me, so I just did it.”