3 Times I Watched People Do Insane Things Because Of Video Games

Every time someone makes the argument that video games make people violent, I cringe. But at the back of my mind I remember. I remember that I have witnessed my friends partaking in some utterly insane acts of vioence because of video games. Really it's the frustration: the frustration of losing, the frustration of cheap tactics, the frustration of completely unfair mechanics punishing the player.

Seriously. Sometimes video games have the power to make us do some seriously stupid things.

The Time Skate 2 Made My Workmate Break A 360 Controller In Half

In an office I will not name, working on a video game magazine I will not name. A colleague I will not name once got a little angry.

He had good reason.

In that office we were all big fans of the video game Skate. Very big fans. Lunch breaks were spent trying to outdo one another on particular lines, trying to beat records. Skate was a real 'pass-the-controller' experience and it was perfect for quick 30 minute bursts of play with friends.

In the lead up to Skate 2's release we were excited. Being a print magazine with print deadlines, we were told we'd get an early copy of the game in order to make our review of the game timely. When we got word the game was en route to the office we started hyperventilating. As a cohesive mag-making unit, we were salivating in unison.

The game arrived. Complete chaos. A whole team of fully grown adult me literally sprinted to the office games room. We were giggling like children.

A little context. Back then most magazines had their own debug unit: a modified console that allowed journalists to play early, unfinished versions of video games. Updating these consoles was a proper pain-in-the-arse. It wasn't as simple as updating online, Microsoft or Sony had to manually courier a disk or a USB stick to your office with the update on it. A pretty firnickity process. Every now and then you would get a brand new video game and it would only run using a new version of the firmware your debug unit didn't have yet.

Skate 2 was one of those video games. It wouldn't work. It refused to work. We needed new firmware. We wouldn't be able to play the game for a couple of days if we were lucky.

The disappointment was tangible. Our giddy excitement deflated. Then: a long period of silence.

Slowly, deliberately, a colleague who will not be named picked up the 360 controller. A 360 controller that was supposed to be our portal to infinite joy but was now nothing but a cruel, lifeless joke in our hands. He picked up the controller and started literally beating it on a nearby table, over and over again with increasing intensity until the controller split. Then he beat it some more. Then — incredibly — he placed it in his hands and literally, actually snapped the controller in half. He broke the 360 controller in half with his bare hands.

It was one of the greatest feats of strength I have ever seen. To this day I have no idea how he did it.

The Time Street Fighter II Made My Friend Leave Bite Marks In My Controller

The Super Nintendo controller may as well have been built from steel: that's how solid those things were. If you were to crack one of those things over the head of your enemies, you'd probably kill them. The Super Nintendo controller should have been an item in Cluedo. It was Professor Plum with the SNES controller in the drawing room. Clearly.

Therefore: I always thought it was impossible to bite a Super Nintendo controller so hard that bite marks were left on the thing. I always imagined that would be a futile, potentially teeth destroying exercise in masochism.

Until that fateful day when I beat my friend at Street Fighter II so badly — so comprehensively — that he placed my controller in his mouth, clenched down his jaw and squeezed with the power of a thousand suns and left actual teeth marks on it.

I have no idea how he did it. For years I tried to replicate the same trick, but I would always punk out at the last second, when I could feel the pressure on my teeth get a little too close for comfort. My only explanation is this: my friend was so frustrated at his loss that he was able to push past all physical barriers, push past the pain, to momentarily forget the pressure he was placing on his gnashers and clamp down with an inhuman force.

I wasn't angry. I was never angry. I was impressed.

The Time Mario Kart Made My Brother Punch A Chandelier

To be fair, I remember a fair amount of alcohol being involved.

We were playing Mario Kart on the N64 at a friends house — four-player if I remember correctly. My brother had been dead last. As happens in many a Mario Kart race, a nice little combination of items had taken my brother from dead last to second place. On the final bend of the last lap my brother managed to hit one of our friends with a red shell before cruising on home to a surprise victory. Incredible. What an underdog story.

Understandably my brother was rather excited. He was giddy to the point where he thought it was entirely reasonable to stand up and physically punch the chandelier hanging suspended above him on the living room ceiling. He punched it so hard that it exploded into a shower of glass fragments, which seemed to fall in slow motion, as it slowly dawned on my brother what a ridiculously stupid idea it was to try and punch a chandelier.

His fist was, of course, shredded. Blood was pouring everywhere. My brother clumsily wrapped his hand in some sort of makeshift bandage, climbed up the stairs and fell asleep in my friend's bathtub.

Good times.

What's the craziest thing you've seen someone do whilst playing video games? Let us know in the comments below.


    I can say I have broken my fair share of controllers in my time (and I LIKED it dammit) but I can safely say, never in my life have I punched a chandelier.

    Well done Mark's brother.

      I agree. Sounds like a proper finishing move to me. Uppercut to the chandelier. Bonus points.

    The best example for me is how much Raid Rage I've seen but it's all born of frustration rather than video games changing people's personalities to be violent. When my friend smashed his XBOX 360 controller playing skate 2 it wasn't because skate makes you violent, it was because he super frustrated and holding something in his hands. People punch car horns all the time but nobody says driving makes you more violent.

      Why don't people say that driving makes you more violent now that you mention it? I can't remember the last time I heard of someone shooting someone else after being beaten in a video game, but I distinctly remember hearing about someone shooting another driver after they cut him off. I don't think it actually does, as you say it's just frustration, but I'm kinda surprised I haven't heard of anyone denouncing driving.

    I broke 3 GC controllers playing Viewtifle joe, im talking twisted them and snapped them in half.

    The run towards the end where you fight all the bosses in a row was devastatingly painful... that bloody shark boss.... maaaannnn

      On the one hand, I sympathise entirely. That boss run was a bastard of a thing to get through.

      On the other, holy shit. I would have put GCN controllers as my "most indestructible" way before the SNES ones.

        I have other mates who have each broken a controller on that very same run.

          I don't know where you guys are but I hope that it is very far away from where I am :P

        Nope, I’ve broken GC controllers. They’re very breakable.

        IMO the 360’s are probably the hardest to break (I’ve never broken one).
        I get the feeling that my Xbone controllers will break while I’m browsing the main menu.

          Agreed, the GC ones you twist and they snap, 360's crack and buckle but still function

    In an office I will not name, working on a video game magazine I will not name. A colleague I will not name once got a little angry.Let the guessing games begin!

    See you next week, Remember This.

      According to his profile, he has worked on the following magazines...

      The Official Nintendo Magazine
      The Official PlayStation Magazine
      Australian 360

      Seeing it was a 360 controller, I'm going to guess 'Australian 360' is the correct one.

      Now, Skate 2 was released in January 2009, so I'm going to assume this 'event' occured in late 2008.

      Now, on to linkedin to find some journo's for the shortlist!

    Driv3r. I left bite makes in my PS2 controller, before literally tearing a chunk of the controller off.

    I've chased my brother around the house with a controller because I was nearing the end of beating Ripto in Spyro 2 and died and for some reason it was his fault. Those were the days.

    Copped a SNES controller in the face when I beat my brother in Garou: Mark of the Wolves in straight sets.

    My older brother's friend used to skip NES controllers across the floor like a rock on a smooth lake. when they would hit the wall they would shatter in a truly spectacular way. It was this reason alone we went to his place to play video games, and didn't invite him to ours.

    My brother clumsily wrapped his hand in some sort of makeshift bandage, climbed up the stairs and fell asleep in my friend’s bathtub.

    This is just the most perfect sentence I've ever read.

    Tekken 4 I believe was the game that made me break my first Playstation 2 controller. Few VB's deep, mate who doesn't play anywhere near as much Tekken as me comes over and asks if I want to play. I do. He picks Christy Montero. I lost. Controller smashed to pieces.

    I can't be the only person who has smashed a controller due to Christy Monterro/Eddy Gordo

    This one time my mate beat me at horse on Tony hawk pro skater on ps1 then heckled me making woop whoop noises... I pulled the controller and cable out of the port chased him through the house whipping him with the cable, it was an amusing afternoon...

    I've never broken a controller on purpose. Seems stupid to me and while I can get annoyed while playing a game breaking something seems abnormal to me. I had a friend who used to throw and break controllers and think it was funny but I never got the joke.

    Street Fighter Alpha 3's World Tour Modes final M.Bison fight made me shatter a PS1 controller in half. I'm got small holes in walls from PS3 controllers being thrown at them. A friend smashed his LCD TV with his controller after a frustrating night of gaming.

    I am embarrassed to say I once threw a controller onto my coffee table as a result of being hit for five consecutive sixes in Ashes 2005 by my housemate. Problem was it hit a glass full of water that then flew into the TV cabinet housing all of the equipment (which was thankfully mine at least). That learned me good.

    Sounds like some peeps need to take a chill pill :P The worst I've ever done was just drop a controller in disgust. I've never even seen anyone throw or break one (save for youtube vids).

    Last edited 04/02/15 3:58 pm

    Took a while for me to learn how to chill. Ahhh energy drinks and teenages don't mix.

    2 Incidents stick out in my mind, both of which were entirely my fault.

    The first occurred when I was 19. CS Source consumed most of my spare time. In a fit of frustration at just getting constantly beaten and taunted I hurled my mouse as hard as I could at the front window. Unfortunately the cord wasn't short enough, I was too stupid and the whole damn window exploded back over my computer desk. The mouse still works, never knock the MX-510 ;) I managed to clean everything up and replace the window before my parents got home and they didn't find out until my 21st birthday.

    The second, and much more expensive incident occurred whilst playing Uncharted: Drake's fortune. During one particular climbing puzzle, I fell to my death about... 15 times in a row? I just couldn't get the jump timing correct and I constantly plummeted to my death after Drake tried to execute some totally incorrect jumping sequence thanks to auto-events. I hurled the PS3 controller at the carpet in disgust, only for the remote to bounce perfectly forward off the elastic carpet and arc straight into the middle of a 2 month old 42" Sony Bravia. The next day I applied for my first credit card and had to finance the TV to replace it. Since then I have not hurled a controller in disgust!

    One of my friends once punched his metal couch frame, through a thick cushion, hard enough to fracture his hand after we lost a Halo match.

    I was experiencing absolute stupidity trying to get past the voice locks in Abe's Oddysee. I just couldn't work out how to open them.
    After a near-incident with my controller I set up a beanbag across the room so I could angrily hurl it with impunity. Which I did, often and with great vigor. I eventually decided the game had glitched and started over.
    When I got back to that point, beanbag in place, I got through it immediately with no dramas. Oh, right, you wait until the lock finishes croaking, then repeat the croaks back to it.
    I felt a combination of triumph and disgust. It was odd.

    I was playing Final Fantasy 7 on PS1, I never had a memory card so every time I turned it off I had to start from the beginning . My brother walked behind of the console which was setup on the floor, tripped over the power cable instantly losing my 20+ hours of progress.

    My immediate response was to spout expletives and punch the console so hard that the motherboard snapped.

    Last edited 04/02/15 9:03 pm

    My brother has left many teeth marks in NES and SNES controllers. He used to pull on the cord in frustration too which meant many unresponsive controllers.

    Correlation =/= causation.

    Most likely your friends were psychos beforehand.

    haha wow thanks for sharing the rage stories guys =P

    I've never broken a controller, but in terms of rage the 2 main culprits would be Guild Wars 1 and DOTA 2 (them Russians!).

    I was once so mad trying to finish the last boss in Guild Wars:Factions that i repeatedly punched a wooden wall.... bloody knucles the whole bit. I'm surprised there wasn't a whole and thankfully that's the only incident of it's kind haha

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