Given the amount of first-person shooter online gaming I partake in these days, it was bound to happen… In a recent Call of Duty World at War online match with more than the usual amount of trash talking going on (guilty, as charged), one player who couldn’t hold his own in the virtual battle or in the verbal sparring took it to another level when he threatened me, saying “I’ll kill you in real life with a real gun.” Of course, it’s highly unlikely I’m in any danger. What we have here is a maladjusted individual with poor anger management and interpersonal skills.
However, this seemed like a good opportunity to change my Gamertag to something a bit more anonymous. You see, when I originally setup Xbox Live I had zero intention of gaming with others. It was all about downloading high definition movies. And I’ve never been shy about interacting online without a veil of anonymity. But, going forward, why tempt fate? So I gave the Xbox Live support folks a call… and it turns out a death threat doesn’t exempt you from the Gamertag change fee, which runs 800 Microsoft Points. As Microsoft doesn’t actually match Points to dollars or sell 800 Point bundles via Live, I ended up paying $12.50 for 1,000 Points to fund my new identity.
Death threats must come in regularly, because the support staff didn’t seem concerned. In fact, I’d say they were pretty dismissive. Which leads to the point of this post… Keep your kids away from Xbox Live, ensure they’re supervised by an adult, or get a Wii instead. There’s just way too much profanity, hate speech, and apparently threats going on.