TECH
10/31/2014 08:25 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

A Virtual Serial Killer Is Stalking Grand Theft Auto

Just in time for Halloween, a serial killer has returned to the virtual streets of "Grand Theft Auto Online."

Well-known gamer/murderous prankster MrKreepyKoala just posted a montage of clips to YouTube that show his "Creepy Murderer" avatar generally rampaging and creeping other players out in GTA.

The clips are meant to be funny, but not everyone's amused. A player at the end of the first video in the series threatens to report Koala for his behavior. Video game site Kotaku calls the videos "trolling at its finest."

The trolling is all happening in the online component of "Grand Theft Auto V," which takes place within a fictional Los Angeles stand-in called Los Santos. In the main GTA V game, you play alone and make your way through a sprawling story, stealing cars, getting into gunfights, and pulling off heists.

GTA Online strips away the story and lets people compete. Imagine walking into the streets of downtown L.A., finding them empty except for a group of your friends, and having the biggest laser tag battle of your life: It's kind of like that.

MrKreepyKoala's videos have racked up the views on YouTube: The first and most successful is sitting at just over 20,000. That's not bad for someone whose videos are a hobby on top of schoolwork and, yes, gaming. When reached via Twitter, Koala told The Huffington Post that he’s actually just a 16-year-old high school student. However, we were not able to verify his name or identity. Nevertheless, he’s been making GTA gameplay videos for about a year now.

GTA V is the fastest-selling game ever, making over $1 billion in its first three days when it came out in September 2013. It's available for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, with updated versions for next-gen consoles coming in November.

Its open-world gameplay encourages players to be creative, and gamers have made impressive non-violent videos that show off the game’s physics engine. (Check out this montage, which has wracked up over 4.2 million views.)

Of course, Koala’s videos are something else entirely. And the subtitles embedded in these gifs show just how his opponents feel about them -- note that the colorful words are theirs, not ours.

Koala’s videos exist to freak players out and showcase murder in the style of horror flicks. His technique is pretty straightforward: He jumps on the game at around 3 a.m., then plays what he calls "creepy lullabies sung by women and children" through his microphone for others to hear. His character is decked out in black gear, a blood red hockey mask, and brandishes a combat knife.

Koala starts the game in "passive mode," which renders him invulnerable to attacks from other players, waits until their avatars’ defenses are down, and then brutally murders them. It creates the impression that Koala is an unstoppable serial killer on the level of Jason Voorhees -- a particularly unnerving thing in a game where players are used to creating mass havoc with fighter jets, rocket launchers, and more.

Of course, it can only go so far. Once Koala starts killing, he’s officially in the game and no longer invulnerable, so other GTA players can end his reign of terror with quick thinking (or a fast SUV). Think of it like a football player hurling insults from the bench and then getting clotheslined when coach puts him in.

Still, you might want to watch your back if you plan on logging onto GTA Online this Halloween. Just in case.

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