In the UK defeat during a real-time online internet combat game has taken on a brutal reality with the defeated opponent tracking down his adversary in real life and attacking him in his own home.

The teenager, who is only 13 years old killed Mark Bradford’s character in game Call of Duty: Black Ops. Outraged by the youth’s glee at winning, Mr Bradford who is 46 and an unemployed father of three, then set about finding his antagonist.

Mr Bradford received 16 weeks prison sentence which was suspended for 12 months for trying to throttle the boy.  He was also ordered to wear an electronic tag for eight weeks and was given a curfew.

The Plymouth Magistrate’s Court district Judge, Mr Robert Morgan-Jones said: ‘Mr Bradford, you are a 46-year-old man. It is of great concern that you, as an adult, who I would expect to be able to control yourself, managed to blur the lines of fantasy and the real world in which you live in.”

The youngster, who cannot be identified, said “I was just sat playing. We’d had a bit of a joke and then he stormed in and grabbed me. I didn’t know what was going on.”

It should be noted though that the game in question Call of Duty: black Ops, carries an 18 guidance certificate. Participants combat each other online in real time and can communicate throughout the violent battles. Also the teenager’s idea of having a joke included taunting his defeated foe and calling him a ‘d***head’.

Bradford who apparently suffers mental health issues said ‘I’d been playing the whole day and he was baiting me and just would not shut up.”

‘I just lost it. In a moment of madness I went round to the house. I didn’t know what I was going to do. It wasn’t malice. I just grabbed him. I’ve seen him since and apologised. The injuries weren’t that bad but I do regret it.’

Writer Helen Splarn. Editor Dr Ramesh Manocha
Source: Daily Mail (UK) AP Australia