On April 8, a gamer in Las Vegas, Nevada was arrested by police officers and is now facing terrorism charges over violent statements and death threats made in Blizzard Entertainment online multiplayer game “Heroes of the Storm” via chat.
Michael Mickowski is a 26-year-old Heroes of the Storm player. During one of his sessions, Mickowski didn’t care much for what he was saying and wrote, “Someday, when I have enough money to buy a gun and some ammunition I will shoot up a school where I live.”
The Heroes of the Storm player also wrote as a threat, “Imagine if I decided to go to an elementary school too. Instead of a high school or middle school imagine. I’ll buy a gun and shoot everyone I can.” Mickowski also threatened that he would stream the mass shooting on the Twitch for everyone to see.
That’s not all, according to LVMPD’s official arrest report, one of the “other dark statements” made by Mickowski was, “Promise, watch me blow the head off a 5-year-old with a 12-gauge shotgun.”
In the report, LVMPD said that there are 18 elementary schools within a 2-mile radius of Mickowski’s home that he could’ve had access to. Had it not been the lack of money, a mass casualty, active shooter event could have easily occurred at the hands of Mickowski.
Authorities were able to identify and locate Mickowski through his IP address. Police have taken Mickowski into custody and he is now being held at the Clark County Detention Center with bail set at $150,000 and a preliminary hearing scheduled to take place on April 25, 2019.
There hasn’t been any official statement from The Heroes of the Storm developer Blizzard Entertainment regarding the mass shooting threats.
Earlier this month, a 25-year-old nursing care worker was arrested after emailing a death threat to Square Enix and threatening to kill the staff.
Overall, threats of violence not only hurt the victims but the whole industry as well. Games should only be considered what they are—a form of entertainment.