CoD4 Gamer Death Puts Game Addiction on Agenda

Canadians locals meet with police to discuss gaming addiction

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CoD4 Gamer Death Puts Game Addiction on Agenda
Canadians in Peterborough, Ontario are gathering to discuss games addiction following the death of Brandon Crisp from nearby Barrie. Brandon was found dead, with injuries consistent with a fall after having left home following confiscation of his copy of Call of Duty 4 earlier this year.

Sergeant Walter DiClemente said that the local force hasn't had to deal with any major incidents related to gaming, but that they have had to deal with disputes that started over gaming. "Gaming itself isn't a police matter", Constable Steve Dyer said, "but the outcomes of it can be."

Crisp ultimately died after falling from a tree, having been missing for three weeks following the argument with his parents. The argument apparently revolved around his parents confiscating his 360 due to the amount of time he spent playing Call of Duty 4.

Local police and Brad Dorrance, the founder of Canada's first Online Gamers Anonymous, will hold the public meeting. On-Line Gamers Anonymous describes itself as "a self-help fellowship" made up of "recovering gamers, family members, loved ones, friends, and concerned others."

SPOnG, for its part, is concerned by the term 'gaming addiction'. When we spoke to Dr Tanya Byron, author of the Byron Report, she told us, "The thinking is that very few people are truly addicted to video gaming. What I mean by 'truly addicted' is they show a number of behaviours that, put together, would indicate with other behaviours (that are considered an addiction) or even with substances, would indicate they are addicted. So, they can't live without it, will stop socialising because of it, will skip meals, will become very agitated if they can't do it, and so on... which is how you understand an addiction.

"A very small percentage of people are truly addicted to playing video games, but there are a lot of kids, actually, who play video games probably for too long." It's very easy for people who don't necessarily understand the nature of addiction to throw the word around too readily.

While the people of Peterborough have every right to discuss games addiction, there's a risk of gaming becoming demonised. As Constable Dyer said, it's the outcomes of gaming that can become a cause for concern - for police, at least. That's equally true of driving, home ownership and sex.

Source: The Peterborough Examiner


Gaming Addict 925 10 Mar 2009 17:53
I need games, I love games, I want games to love me too.

I also love kids!

Games!Games!Games! mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! Tasty!
tyrion 10 Mar 2009 18:19
Seems to me the issue is these "tree" things that the lad got himself all fallen out of. We should get an angry mob up and wipe them off the map, whatever they are.

Seriously, if he's been inside playing games, he probably wouldn't have died like he did. Can we put this unfortunate incident down to a huffy teen running away from home for whatever reason and stop laying the blame at the door of the games industry?

We wouldn't be reading about this if he'd been an avid TV watcher and had that privilege taken away from him.
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Joji 10 Mar 2009 20:02
Oh my god, how stupid is this?

This is not a game related issue. Its more of an issue of the generation gap between many parents and their children, entertainment wise. Parents don't sit and take part in gaming with their kids, and by default and fear of tech or learning anything new, cut themselves off from their kids.

People will always disagree, even kids and their parents. What's interesting is that, had the kids parents been more careful, this whole unfortunate mess could have been avoided. Perhaps if more parents took an interest iin what their kids play, and took part, such misunderstanding would be few.

On top of all that, the biggest mistake adults sometimes make, is in underestimating the determination and will of kids to do things for themselves.

And who's stirring this pot of ignorance? None of than the news media. They'd love to paint that negative picture and see no merit in games. Waving that addiction word around has no real basis and they feel the need to reach a bit.

Perhaps next time, parents should think long and hard, which is worse, having you kids indoors playing games safely or being out god knows where, in danger or worse. Don't get your wires crossed, Canada. Its a tragedy this kid died, but that could have been easily avoided, by just letting the kid play his damn games in peace, not rocket science, people.
Nihilistic 11 Mar 2009 04:23
Yeah a lot of the small town reporting comes from the nationalized broadcasting corp, the CBC. We only have a few big national networks at all, but I don't read any of them because they're so biased, and I don't even bother watching the local news at all because there's just so much crap and I wouldn't want to risk repeating any of it. I know CNN's accused of being left leaning but they seem to disclose their information well, at least on the web, so they're the only oens I trust. I noticed on my igoogle last thursday though that there was a CBC or CTV article on Eastern Canadian ski deaths, and I'd just given a presentation on ski hill liability waivers that day. What struck me was that in two of three deaths in the last month they were wearing helmets and still died, compared to out here in Western Canada where most of the ski hills are and no one wears helmets and I've never heard of a ski death other than from avalanches. But the interesting part was that part of the article was devoted to talking about lobby groups who'd increased their calls for mandatory helment legislation!!! I think part of it is that the news feels like they have to satisfy every group, because if they don't mention the idiotic ideas then the idiots accuse them of bias and uncomprehensive coverage, but sometimes it just seems so stupid. For the most part the little newspapers have to cater to the locals, that's where it's nice to have speacialty magazines and news companies like CNN who don't feel the need to add opinion or subjectivity to every article in order to tell their readers how to think.
Brad D. 11 Mar 2009 12:30
Great to see our humble little gathering garner so much attention. Those in attendance will probably find my presentation educational and very fair. Should we be concerned by usage of the word "addiction?" Sometimes, but I'll stop using that word when the industry stops carelessly tossing around the word "addictive" to promote its products in reviews and interviews.

-Brad D., London, Ontario
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