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