MrDeadMoth was focused on his lamp-wielding “Fortnite” avatar before a woman’s off-screen voice dissolved the fantasy visage streaming online.
“I’ll be out soon,” the gamer insisted Sunday evening, his voice rising. “Just wait!” They tussled. He intercepted a cardboard box she appeared to throw. He tossed it back. “Can you not? I said I’ll be out soon.”
Then he rushed toward her, delivering what sounds like a hard slap. She wailed. A child’s voice called out. The man repeated a chilling line to the woman: “How many times do I have to tell you?”
The woman realized a child in the home outside Sydney was not the only potential witness.
“You hear that? All you people there,” she said, apparently speaking to people watching the match over Twitch, the popular streaming social site. “He just hit me in the face!”
Police arrested and changed the 26-year old man with common assault hours later, the New South Wales police said in a statement Monday, as profanity-laced and disturbing video of the incident circulated online.
“While the woman was not seriously injured she was distressed and shaken by the incident,” the police said of the unnamed 21-year-old woman. She was given a protective order. A 3-year-old girl and a toddler were in the home at the time, police said.
A police spokesperson declined to provide the man’s name, citing laws that prohibit releasing details ahead of a court appearance, which is scheduled for Thursday. Australian media identified him as Luke James Munday. He could not be reached for comment.
Recorded video of the incident was considered evidence for investigators, a police spokesperson said. It was not clear whether the woman was the man’s wife or partner, police said.
A spokesperson for Twitch did not return a request for comment on the incident involving Munday.
The battle-royale game “Fortnite” dominates Twitch. Viewers watched 7.7 billion minutes of players battling each other in August. That’s about 14,650 years.
It appeared that Munday deleted a wide swath of his internet presence; his Twitch account under @MrDeadMoth has vanished, as have Twitter and Facebook accounts listed under his still-active YouTube channel.
It is not clear when the Twitch account was deleted, though analytics from the site Social Blade shownearly all of his more than 5,000 subscribers disappeared Sunday.
The ubiquity of video and social media has produced a postmodern reality – raw and sometimes violent moments broadcast across the world.
In August, a laser sight flickered on the chest of a gamer at a Madden tournament in a video captured on Twitch. A gunman fired in the next instant at the event in Jacksonville, Florida, killing two people before he turned the gun on himself.
In February, Snapchat videos from the Parkland, Florida, mass shooting circulated before officials released details about the dead. And YouTube was awash in videos of people fleeing audible rifle fire in Las Vegas in the midst of the worst mass killing in modern U.S. history.
Australian police deal with 5,000 domestic violence incidents a week, according to ABC News.