Fortnite streamer breaks down: ‘It won’t happen again’
A gamer accused of assaulting his partner while broadcasting himself playing Fortnite in a video that has been viewed millions of times says it "won't happen again".
Bunkered down in his grandparents' Narellan Vale house, Luke Munday, 26, spoke for the first time today after the livestream showing him allegedly striking his pregnant partner, 21, was beamed across the world in real time and went viral online, sparking a debate about the link between video games and violence.
The Telstra engineer said he had not watched the footage, which appears to record the sound of a slap after his partner demanded he stopped playing the wildly popular shooter game Fortnite at their Oran Park home on Sunday.
Police later arrested Munday and charged him with common assault based on the video evidence in what is believed to be a first for NSW.
"You're all judging the video, you don't see what happens, you haven't read the police report, you don't actually know what happened off camera," Munday said at his grandparents' house.
"The court will decide what happens, they have the evidence, they have her statement and they have my statement, and they match. There's no issue there."
Police have taken out an interim apprehended violence order on behalf of the woman, who was not seriously injured in the alleged incident.
When asked if he was sorry for what allegedly happened, Munday said: "Yeah, we're dealing with that between each other, that's between us, not anyone else.
"Everyone thinks I kicked the shit out of her which clearly isn't the case," he said.
"If that happened, I wouldn't be charged with common assault, would I? Common assault means no injury. There is no family violence. It's a one-off thing and she will corroborate that in court … it never happened before and it won't happen again."
John Munday, 76, said him and his wife were "shocked" to see the video of their grandson on TV.
"For us it's shocking," he said.
"We can't get nothing out of him. As you can see, there's not much Christmas in this house. There's just one tree, normally this house would be blooming."
The footage was covered by media outlets worldwide and has sparked a debate about the link between violence and video games.
Macquarie University psychology lecturer Wayne Warbuton stressed studies have shown a clear link between people consuming violent media and aggression, saying their self-control can be negatively affected.
"When people are really engaged with any sort of violent media, brain imaging studies tend to show the prefrontal cortex of the brain is substantially less active," he said.
"That's the part of the brain where we think of the consequences of our actions and control our impulses. That's the sort of place where if you have an impulse to do something that part would kick in and say 'that's a bad idea'.
"This is true of people who spend a lot of time in front of screens recreationally, you see some reduced activity. So if somebody is in the middle of engaging in some sort of violent media the part of the brain that would manage those sort of impulses isn't working as effectively."
Munday will appear in court on Thursday.