Rainer Winkler is insulted, humiliated and persecuted. Some blame the “Dragon Lord” for his fate. He provoked all the hate, they say. But whoever claims that has understood nothing.
It’s easy to become famous these days. There are thousands of influencers on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube who make money by marketing their private lives.
Rainer Winkler was one of these people to the end. He published videos on YouTube as the “Dragon Lord”, showed himself playing video games, dancing or telling in front of the camera what was going through his head.
Despite this, he failed to build a “fan base”. Above all, Winkler attracted hate and criticism. He got attention, but probably not the kind he was hoping for.
Rainer Winkler is not a smart, diplomatic person. He said many distasteful things in his videos. He raved about sexual practices, downplayed terrorist attacks and drew comparisons to the Nazi era. He has regularly insulted women and minorities.
Whether the “Dragon Lord” knew what he was doing is unclear. In 2021, a court report confirmed that he had “reduced intelligence”. He probably didn’t reflect much of what he said.
There are people who claim in public comment columns, in social networks and in other, mostly anonymous ways that Rainer Winkler himself is to blame for the disaster that happened to him.
After all, he earns money with YouTube, he bullies around, he insults his viewers. Then he has to live with the consequences, they say. But anyone who says something like that has understood nothing.
Rainer Winkler is the victim of an unprecedented hate campaign that spilled over from the internet into real life. The whole thing is called “dragon game” and is a game for his opponents – the haters.
For the “Dragon Lord” it must be hell. The 33-year-old is not only insulted a thousand times as part of the “dragon game”. The haters also stalk, harass, and bully him. Some don’t even shy away from desecrating his father’s grave.
They know where to find the “dragon”. Until the end it was the Franconian town of Altschauerberg. Winkler revealed his address online after haters harassed his sister on the phone.
They came to “visit” him. Every day. In truth, it was a huge bullying campaign, with Rainer Winkler at the center. Thousands against one. The trolls against the “dragon”.
Some haters threw eggs and rocks at his house, others camped outside. In 2018 they arranged to meet for the so-called “Schanzenfest”. According to the police, 600 to 800 people flocked to Altschauerberg. A place where only about 40 people live.
In 2021, the haters made Rainer Winkler a murderer. An anonymous netizen claimed the man who killed several people in Kongsberg, Norway, was named Rainer “Winklarson”. Several media picked up the false report. There was also an edited photo.
In the meantime, Winkler has sold his house in Altschauerberg. He is homeless and travels through Germany, from hotel to hotel. Hardly anyone wants to accommodate him for long, reports the “Spiegel”.
Hoteliers would already warn each other about the mob waiting for them should Winkler stay with them. The haters are everywhere, not only harassing the “dragon” but also the people who want to help him.
Rainer Winkler is isolated. The mob declared him fair game, and it’s been like this for more than ten years. This is textbook bullying, only worse.
No matter what someone says online, no matter how clumsy and questionable they present themselves: Nobody has the right to drive to their home, destroy their property, insult them or spread false news about them without being asked.
Of course, misogynistic or racist statements by a YouTuber who has thousands of followers must be criticized and scandalized. Just like any other public figure.
But no one has the right to hunt down an individual in hundreds, for years, every day, just because they think they’re an unsympathetic idiot. This has nothing to do with criticism of the problematic videos of the “Dragon Lord”.
At some point, the crowds of people that haunted Rainer Winkler became too much. Last year, a court sentenced him to a year’s suspended sentence for hitting a hater with a flashlight and putting a headlock on another.
There are also several proceedings against Winkler’s tormentors, the “dragon” himself has reported many of them. Still, haters’ actions are usually treated as petty crimes rather than part of a larger, gruesome whole. What they are.
“The Drachenlord case clearly shows that neither the law enforcement authorities nor the criminal law are sufficiently equipped to take effective action against cyberbullying,” said Chan-jo Jun, a lawyer specializing in IT law, recently in an interview with FOCUS online.
“Cyberbullying in masses is particularly dangerous because a large number of people work together in different ways, even though the individual contribution to the crime is only characterized by low crime.”
And that’s exactly what happens in the case of the “Dragon Lord”: A conspiracy of thousands terrorizes a single, systematically. Rainer Winkler no longer has a home, but his haters still find him.
They have formed surveillance groups on Telegram and are trying to find out his location. To always be on his heels. To finish him off.
What drives these people, you have to ask yourself. Why don’t you just leave Rainer Winkler alone?
“I lost my family, many friends and everything I had built up in the years after my father’s death,” he told Der Spiegel. The “dragon” is already facing the shards of his existence.