Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Swatting, A Teenage "Game"

I learned something new today. I really wish that I hadn't read this article. It seems that some teenagers have found yet another way to abuse today's technology. What a shame that these kids can't use their skills for something constructive! It seems that these irresponsible nerds are playing a game called swatting.

Swatting gets its name from the fact that the object of the "game" is to get a SWAT team to respond to a randomly selected residence, expecting a high risk situation. The residents are of course totally innocent and in grave danger, if they happen to respond in a hostile manner to the rude interruption of their sleep. These little games are, apparently, often played when the "objective" is asleep.

I can't emphasize how dangerous this game is for the victims. As the victim in the article is quoted, "what if I had been holding a gun?" These games are sometimes played with background noises to emulate people in distress. The 911 operator has no way of knowing whether the situation is real or not, especially if the gamer is good at his or her acting. Therefore, a responding SWAT team will treat the call as if it is real. A provoking reaction from an innocent victim could lead to tragedy for both the victim's family and the responding officers.

The most telling part of this article is the teenager, who says that he never thought that anyone could get hurt. The poor parenting skills of so many are so evident in situations such as this. A lack of common sense among teenagers is also so very obvious. What these kids are thinking, I have no idea. I'm not going to say that my generation is innocent, but I think we usually knew when to stop before someone got seriously injured. The exception was when we were behind the wheel of a car, but even then, there were few serious accidents among the kids my age.

Such pranks as swatting are so scary. Anyone, anywhere is in danger from such a random act. Sadly, it doesn't happen at the mall or at work. It happens when you think you are safe at home in bed. It is bad enough, when the police make a mistake on their own, but in this case they, too, are innocent victims. It appears that investigators are starting to make headway in dealing with this stupid activity. Yet, I'm sure the innovative and, apparently, bored kids will find yet another say to abuse the technology that we have become so dependent upon.

No comments: