Maybe about ten years ago, the idea of death threats on the Internet might have been shocking, but we now live in an age when they are as consistent as the sunrise and sunset. Not to say they shouldn’t be taken seriously, because they very much should be, but every time I see the word “death threats” in a headline, I wonder if we’ve learned anything from the previous news cycle.
The Internet is drunk with anonymity, and the lack of repercussions have brought out the worst in us.
From politicians running a convention in Nevada to zookeepers sadly forced to put down a gorilla to humble indie developers of the most promising video game in years, if you upset someone on the Internet, someone out there is going to threaten death upon you. Each of these three events happened in the past month, and each of these events followed up with a headline stating that people involved were threatened.
Even if you break the news, *WARNING* naughty language inside link like the writer who uncovered the No Man’s Sky delay before it became official, you are not safe!
Sean Murray himself, the creator of No Man’s Sky, has been on the receiving end of several death threats, but he has responded to them with his usual aloof sense of humor.
Tell me when its safe to remove the marbles and oil from the stairs. It's getting really cumbersome, and I need the toilet
— Sean Murray (@NoMansSky) May 28, 2016
Oh, that Sean Murray. What a guy.
The point is that death threats have simply become too prevalent on the Internet, both in gaming and in general. Thank goodness most of them are not followed up upon, but even so, their very existence makes it hard to filter out which are made by angry 13 year-olds lashing out at a seven week delay for a video game and which are made by genuinely scary people who might actually follow through with their promise.
Please, before you click that “Send” or “Post” button, slap yourself a few times really hard in the face and ask yourself if you genuinely think a human life is worth whatever trivial problem is bothering you on this day.