A man has issued a warning after his brother drove 30 miles to issue death threats with a baseball bat - because he had killed his character in Grand Theft Auto.
The father-of-two says people are confusing computer games, like Grand Theft Auto which is produced by Edinburgh-based Rockstar North, with reality after his older sibling arrived on his doorstep threatening to kill him, his wife and kids.
The man, in his 20s, who doesn’t want to be named, said his sibling, in his 30s, launched the attack because he’d killed his character in the popular GTA game.
He was forced to call the police after his brother travelled from Okehampton in Devon to Plymouth and started screaming through his letterbox.
Police confirmed they spent more than an hour at the address dealing with the “domestic incident.”
The victim said: “I think it is silly and sad that a man in his 30s would want to do this but when he came to my door with my one-year-old and three-year-old there, with a baseball bat and saying ‘I’m going to kill you like you killed me on the game’, well I think the police needed to be called.
“I work for a living, pay my taxes and after a hard day I sometimes come home and late in the evening, after the children are put to bed, I play video games to unwind and blow off steam. For me, it’s just a reality escape.
“Me and my older brother were playing online and he wasn’t happy that I killed his GTA character.
“He started texting me, saying ‘I’m going to kill you’ and ‘I’m going to make your kids and wife watch while you’re being killed, I’m going to kill your kids in front of your wife and when she’s crying I’m going to shoot her’. I thought ‘you’re having a laugh’.
“I got 50 more texts over the next 24 hours and the next night he’s knocking my door with a baseball bat shouting ‘I’m going to kill you like you killed my GTA character’. That’s when I called police. It’s like he tried to act GTA out in real life.
“I want to warn other gamers to realise that this can happen to anybody. There are people out there who treat it too seriously.”
The dad said he hoped other gamers would take heed of his warning, citing the recent case which saw computer engineer Lewis Daynes, 19, murder 14-year-old Breck Bednar after meeting online during games like Call of Duty and Battlefield.
Daynes confessed to the murder of the youngster from Grays in Essex and was jailed for life in January this year, with a minimum of 25 years.
The dad said: “I read about a gamer recently being stabbed by another gamer - that could’ve been me.
“Gamers need to be warned that this could happen to them. It may be a stranger or it may even be a member of your own family.
“It’s shaken me and my family and it’s split my brothers and sisters. This is more than a stupid story - it started off as a domestic argument. I told him to grow up, but he wouldn’t listen.
“Police have warned him to stay away, but he’s still sending me texts and threats to kill me. It may well lead to more police action if he turns up at my place again.”
Sergeant Ryan Canning of Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Officers attended an address after we received a call about threats being made.
“On attending the officers learned it was because one of the men had killed the other’s Grand Theft Auto character They were not children - these were adults.”