Long-time fixture of the gaming industry at large and within EVE Online Markee Dragon, was the victim of a popular and stupidly dangerous trend yesterday. The incident in question targeted him on the first day of YouTube’s Gaming Stream App being open to the world. Markee had decided to stream EVE Online, as he has been doing nearly everyday for the past few months on Twitch. And it figures that fate would have other plans for his inaugural stream to wider audience.
Markee has a long and storied past within the gaming industry stemming all the way back to his first ventures in RMT in Ultima Online. Since then, he has been involved in some way with many major MMOs, including WoW and EVE. It should be mentioned that he and his company no longer do anything that violates the terms and conditions of game developers that he did in the past. Yuo can find many of these stories scattered throughout videos on his YouTube Channel.
Swatting is the act of tricking emergency services into deploying an Emergency Response Team based on the false report of an ongoing critical situation. It goes without saying, but the dangerous and wasteful nature of this trend is unbelievable. I cannot imagine what could possibly be entertaining about such an action.
During his stream, he heard shouting in the house, he went on to say
My house is not a shouting house, the only time anyone shouts in my house is to tell a cat to get off the counter. So I went out into the hallway to see what was happening, and as I left the room, there were officers pointing guns at me. They handcuffed me, and had me kneel outside, and they cleared the whole house. My son who was asleep, he’s 22, but they handcuffed him too. Fortunately they didn’t handcuff my younger children, but I spent 15 -20 minutes in handcuffs, while they figured out what was happening. One of the officers was friends with my son, and as I went on to explain what swatting was, he agreed with me. The older officers had not heard of ‘swatting’.
It all worked out ok, but someone had called the local police saying that I had killed my wife, was holding my children hostage, and had a pipe-bomb ready to kill myself. And these weren’t just handguns they were using, they were assault rifles. And things can go wrong very quickly. Fortunately, I have experience with law enforcement, and knew exactly what to do. So now the local authorities now that I stream, and troll calls may happen, and to not take them seriously. I had never considered myself being swatted before, and of course, it happens today when I am streaming to a wider audience.
In the video featured, you can hear Thor, my Icelandic friend, talking about how I received a phone call 15 minutes before the police arrived at my house, and you can hear Thor say that whoever called me was probably the person responsible, making sure they had the right number. But of course, the media heard of it, and they arrived too. It was an uncomfortable evening, but it takes a lot to shake me. At least the local authorities are now aware of the issue, and hopefully it wont happen again.
Thankfully, MarkeeDragon is OK, and nothing seriously happened tonight, but the situation could have been completely different. He advises that anyone thinking of streaming, if you happen to become popular, and you are receiving an increase of viewers, you should probably notify law enforcement that ‘swatting’ happens, and that you may find yourself a victim of it.
To the person responsible for what happened tonight, he simply states
Swatting may be seen as a joke, but it can have potentially serious consequences, and you can find out more about swatting here