Friday, November 14, 2008

Why These Games Scare Me...

This article from CERC and the National Post are the reason I hate war related video games - thankfully, my boys seem too interested playing various instruments to pay much attention to them, but this tragic story of a 15 year old obsessed with Call of Duty 4 raises huge red flags for me.  I am praying for his parents, who surely thought they were doing the right thing by confiscating his game console. 

A Canadian teenager has been found dead after running away from home when his parents confiscated his Xbox gaming machine. Brandon Crisp, 15, was obsessed with the online Xbox 360 game Call of Duty 4, in which several participants in different locations fight wars alongside a squadron of others -- with whom they communicate over the internet using headphones and speakers. During the three-week search for the boy his mother said that the game was “his life right now”; she had taken the gaming system away numerous times.

Internet addiction expert Louise Nadeau, a psychologist at the Universite de Montreal, said that as a teenager her mother had accused her of being “a slave to TV”. “There’s something around being 13, 14 or 15 that kids find it easier to live through a screen,” she said. But internet games made it easier to lose touch with real life: “Our world becomes more and more foreign.” Nadeau added: “Addiction sets in when one feels responsible for what happens in the on-line world.”

Microsoft, the company that sells Xbox, offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to the boy, and “grudgingly co-operated with police who sought IP addresses” of those who played with Brandon, according to the Post. Future Shop, a chain of stores selling games, was launching a new Xbox game, Gears of War 2, at the time Brandon’s body was found. The chain cancelled parties outside its stores in Toronto and Vancouver out of respect for the Crisp family.
MercatorNet | Family Edge | Canadian Boy Lived In An Online World


BarbaraKB said...

Violence & war are one aspect but the obsession & possible addictive element to online gaming is troubling. I think the *social* aspects of gaming online w/folks are why he became so obsessed: he saw them as true & real friends. And that's what is perhaps so sad: his parents took away his best friends. Not sure how I will deal w/all of this when my son becomes a teen.

Cami said...

I agree with your feelings on this, Lisa, and why parents should be educated regarding games as well as movies/television shows their kids watch. You know that Jorim reviews the games for this reason. He never played video games as a child, and he doesn't do the online stuff, either. But he works hard to let parents know what's in the games. But even yet, I'm finding that not enough parents are interested in REALLY finding out for themselves.

Oh - and have a safe and fun weekend away! Wish I could go to Disneyland! :)

Cami said...

Lisa, based on your post, I decided to leave my feelings at Jorim's Forum regarding this. If anyone is interested in reading it or commenting, please feel free - and keep in mind, for those of you with children, Jorim's Forum is a SAFE online community, with very strict rules in force!