True Crime: Did video games cause the murder of a streamer?
And now, for something completely gruesome . . .
A Brazilian Call of Duty player posted a video featuring a woman’s bloodied dead body and claiming to have killed her. The victim was a rival Call of Duty aficionado, duped into visiting her alleged murderer as part of a gaming competition. Take a deep breath, friends, because this true crime story’s pretty ugly.
Guilherme Alves Costa is eighteen years old. He was a member of the online gaming team “Gamers Elite” and played under the name “Flashlight”. A Gamers Elite representative told local media the team’s leadership had never met Alves Costa, expressing shock at the alleged murder. Alves Costa’s family also seemed surprised & shaken by his actions.
According to Guilherme Alves Costa himself, he stabbed his victim to death. The grisly video he posted online showed a body covered in blood while he chuckled: “You’re thinking it’s ink or that it’s edited or something, but it’s not. I really killed her, got it? I’ve got a book, too. I asked some people to share it. I hope you read it. It contains some truths.”
The book Alves Costa mentioned is a fifty-two-page manifesto currently under investigation by the police. According to The Mirror, the alleged murderer used the book to explain his motives: he was tired with life, not having any goals, and not getting along with people. All par for the curse in your standard true crime nightmare.
Oliveira Bueno da Silva was nineteen years old. She was a member of the online gaming team “Fantastic Brazil Impact” and played under the name “SOL”. She’d been to Guilherme Alves Costa’s home once before, according to his family, and they seemed to be friends. On the day of her death, Bueno da Silva thought she was going to face off against Alves Costa in a Call of Duty: Mobile competition.
Bueno da Silva’s body was discovered by Alves Costa’s brother. The alleged murderer had fled his home, leaving his victim lying on the floor, where his brother found her, prompting a call to the police. The Mirror reports Alves Costa’s brother is also responsible for talking him into turning himself in, after a phone call where Alves Costa informed his family he planned to kill himself.
The gaming community is understandably reeling from the impact of this most recent true crime tragedy. According to The Times, Fantastic Brazil Impact released a statement about Oliveira Bueno da Silva saying: “She was an extraordinary person, whom we will remember every day that the sun rises.”
The most chilling true crime stories can be the ones where the motive is unexplainable. Despite going on about his motivations for fifty-two pages, Guilherme Alves Costa’s reasons to murder Oliveira Bueno da Silva seem to boil down to: “Because I wanted to.” That’s an actual quote being reported by The Times, a matter-of-fact statement from Alves Costa once the police finally apprehended him.
The Mirror, on the other hand, reports Alves Costa told investigators Bueno da Silva had “crossed [his] path.” He’s also reported to have claimed he knew “the seriousness of the situation,” implying he was of sound mind when he committed the alleged crime.
Guilherme Alves Costa has been taken into custody while the police investigate the tragic incident.
While it’s easy to instantly blame video games for a tragedy like the murder of Oliveira Bueno da Silva, there are other factors at play. Brazil has the fifth highest femicide rate in the world. That’s the gender-motivated killing of women.
According to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, killings of women are not an isolated issue. Instead, they tend to reflect sexist norms “deeply rooted” in Brazilian society. A society all these video game players are part of.
Do you think video games are to blame for the murder of Oliveira Bueno da Silva? Does this true crime story prove video game culture is dangerous? Let us know in the comments!