Kyle Rittenhouse, who shot three people in self-defense during riots last year, has had his EA online account targeted by the gaming company for using his own name, which EA says could “harm others or negatively disrupt the game.”
Rittenhouse’s legal woes ended last month when a jury in Kenosha, Wisconsin, found him not guilty of murder, attempted murder and reckelss endangerment. The charges stemmed from his shooting dead of two men who attacked him, and injuring another, during Black Lives Matter protests in the Wisconsin city last August.
However, Rittenhouse’s actions continue to impact his life. An email posted to Instagram on Friday by the teenager showed that his Electronic Arts (EA) account had been reported for breaking the company’s ‘Positive Play Charter’.
The email warned Rittenhouse that he “may have used words or phrases that harm others or negatively disrupt the game.” The words or phrases in question were his username: “Kyle Rittenhouse.”
Rittenhouse didn’t even use the name on EA’s own online platform. Rather, the company found that he used it on Steam, the world’s largest PC games distribution service. The name, EA’s email continued, is an “inappropriate reference” to “Violence, Terror, and Tragic Events.”
Essentially a set of rules for players, EA describes its ‘Positive Play Charter’ as “an updated set of community guidelines with clear consequences for players who engage in racist, sexist, homophobic, and abusive acts in our games and channels.” Introduced last June, the company said at the time that it had removed more than 3,500 instances of “inappropriate and hurtful names and language” in the weeks leading up to its introduction.
It is unclear whether Rittenhouse has managed to resolve the issue with EA. However, it wasn’t the first time Rittenhouse’s fondness for video games has landed him in trouble. During his trial, prosecutor Thomas Binger suggested that the teenager may have taken up arms to imitate what he experienced when playing first-person shooters like ‘Call of Duty’.
“Isn't one of the things people do in these video games try and kill everybody else with your guns?” Binger asked Rittenhouse. “It’s just a video game,” Rittenhouse responded. “It’s not real life.”