Why online games turn players into psychopaths

“I’m friendly! Friendly!” shouted a female voice. (Rust, currently in alpha state, only has male character models at the moment.)

“It’s okay, I’m friendly too,” I said. “Do you need anything?”

She paused. No, she said, backing away. I wished her luck and resumed my hunt. She returned a minute later. “Do you have any food?” she asked. “I’m starving.” I tossed her some baked chicken. She offered some wood in return.

“You keep that,” I said. “You’re going to need it to build a shelter.”

“No, it’s okay,” she said. “Fair’s fair.”

Before I could reply, I saw someone running up behind her. It was JB. I was about to tell him everything was OK when he started shooting. He hit her twice in the back. She ran away and died minutes later. JB was laughing. Laughing.

“Why’d you do that?” I asked. I’ve known JB since were six years old. I’ve never seen him harm anyone.

“I don’t know,” he replied. “It was funny.”