Another infant death linked to games - a halfway plausible link this time round?

http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2011-03-31/story/prosecutor-kings-bay-sailor-played-world-warcraft-while-infant

usually links like these to games are tenuous at best, since the incident was bound to happen anyway regardless of the addiction. in this case however, i think it is plausible. you’re not leaving the baby with a drunk or drugged up addict, you’re leaving the baby with an otherwise normal parent who happens to play a lot of video games. had it been any other game, this might not have happened. this happened because it was an online game where there is no ‘pause’ button, which basically requires your undivided attention to it while messing up your abilty to judge the passage of time.

i am in no way excusing the father here. i am just saying that this is the first link that you might not claim would have happened anyway were it something else. nothing else as innocuous as binge gaming would distract a person so compulsively they couldn’t tear themselves away for a moment to tend to their child.

as kids grow up with more screen time than face time, is this an unappreciated epidemic that cannot be reversed?

  1. Plenty of kids have died while their parents watch tv or talk on the phone or do housework or nap.

  2. As gaming becomes more common among adults, it’s simple statistics that more kids will die while their parents are playing a game.

  3. That said, an “epidemic”? Hardly.

  4. Neglectful parents are neglectful.

Gaming engages the person much more then the above, audio/visual/interactive/giving a different body which can get hurt in another world.

I’m frankly shocked this didn’t get blamed on a pit bull.

You think I’m exaggerating? Justin Mozer was killed by a Jack Russell Terrier inside the house, and the family had animal control take away (and kill) both the JRT and a pit bull who had been outside in the yard the whole time, and was completely uninvolved in the attack. This was presented in some news sources as “Authorities take away pit bull after infant mauled to death.”

Cite? Seriously, you don’t think watching a TV show can make someone so engaged that they ignore things happening around them? I don’t believe your conjecture for a minute.

Heh… right. Next theory?

Did you guys even read the article?

This is not about a game. It’s about a sunnuvabitchbastard who didn’t care enough to respond to his crying child, but had no problem stopping to use the can. He couldn’t even stop on his way back from the can to take the pillow off the babies head.

I say fry him. Manslaughter my @$$. If he was a babysitter, he’d be tried for murder.

[/COLOR]

Hate the player, not the game.

Watching TV is not the same, the TV characters live on without you peeping into their world, perhaps if someone is watching a sporting event with money on the line you can come close to the level of engagement that a gamer can experience.

My Q to the 2 dissenting opinions is why you are so sure you can dismiss this?

Because the theory is moronic. The guy was perfectly able to leave the game to urinate, but unable to leave the game to save a child. Indeed, he passed the child on his way to and from the bathroom and still did nothing even though he was already away from the game.

You must never seen how nitwits talking on their cellphones drive, then. They are engaged in the call to the level that they can get hurt in this world.

Maybe we should look in on him and try to stop the pain
But World of Warcraft is so much fun, I’d hate to blow the game

Slight revision to 'Outside of a Small Circle of Friends"

I know more about gaming than you do. For example, I know that my little computer people don’t drop dead the second I take my eyes off them. I also know that if they do drop dead - it’s not a big deal. There’s almost never any in game penalty and even if there was … who cares? They’re just little computer people.

Another thing I know: Gamers’ characters die all the time. It’s part of the game. Everyone wants to avoid it, sure. But we’ve all been through it many times and we’ll go through it again. Healthy adults - especially those of us who grew up playing video games - just aren’t that phased by it.

  1. There’s no evidence that gamers are more likely to let their child die of neglect than people involved in other activities.

  2. In point of fact, children die from neglect all the time while their parents are engaged in non-gaming activities.

  3. WoW has 12 million active subscribers (I, my sister and my mom are three of them.) There is no epidemic of children dying while their parents play WoW.

  4. The loser Dad would have been a loser no matter what he was doing, if it was golf or working on his car or whatever his hobby was. That’s because he himself is a bad parent - not because his hobby is new and scary.

How many video games have you played?

Merneith:

  1. not the OP where the parent was aware of the pillow atop the baby.
  2. while true, this is also not my OP. my suggestion being that this is different from other ‘Blame the Pitbull’ links.
  3. hence the word unappreciated. don’t you agree that more and more people get more screen time than face time? a typical white collar adult spends much of the entire work day and leisure time in front of a screen.
  4. again true, but missing the gist of my OP. the same parent in the OP might have taken the time to remove that damned pillow had he been distracted by something else. the nitwit engaged on a tv might pause it and continue later, he could say “hang on” to his friend, he could get back to his nap.

a tv requires your attention and your eyes. a phone requires your attention and your ears. a game requires all those in addition to your hands and thus the rest of you in terms of mobility*. online gaming is designed to trigger your gambling instincts, handing out micro rewards in a social network. the same nitwit totally absorbed in a tv program or talking on the phone would be doubly so in an online game.

taking an extreme example from the past - when you have spent 3 to 5 hours in a dungeon crawl with 39 other people in your online peer group, as the main tank in the middle of an involved boss fight, you’re positioned to be completedly devoted to the screen in front of you. peer pressure, time investment, game design, some other buzzwords, blah blah blah. this is getting to be TLDR material so i’m not going to give a point by point rebuttal of your second list of 4 pointers. ** i’m just going to wrap up here and say that you have misunderstood my OP. i’m sorry if i was vague.

you’re missing the point entirely if you’re thinking single player casual games with normal, healthy adults are killing babies and puppies. i’m talking about online game addiction, a phenomenon still new enough not to have sufficient research or cites, and its influence on that baby whose pacifier has been replaced by an iPhone.

that said, i apologise for jumping the gun and misreading this part. i had chosen a bad example with which to base my kneejerk OP, having assumed by giving benefit of the doubt that it was simply severe distraction. you might skip this and address whether online gaming is more of a distraction than any other mundane hobby or - ooh, shiny!


  • Overly Fat Cartman: “MOM BATHROOM! BATHROOM!!”
    ** you totally misread my application of the word epidemic.

I’ve been playing MMORPGS since the early days of Everquest. I’d laugh out loud in the face of anyone who tried to claim that WoW is a bigger commitment of time or attention than early EQ (hello, contested raid spawns on one week timers!). I’ve also had a son since those days, including raising my (now 12 year old) son as a single parent.

I never had a problem saying either “afk, baby crying” or “sorry, was afk… baby was crying” depending on what was going on and whether I thought to say something before getting up. I also never had anyone give me shut for it and, if they had, I’d have found a new group or guild. I was also smart enough not to put myself into situations where I was the main tank or healer or crowd control if I knew I might had to get up during a large raid (versus just a group).

It’s a game. I’m not even going to dignify comparing it to a baby. The parent was solely the issue here, not the game.

Maybe he had to run the chalice back to the temple before receiving the gloves of removing?

Nothing in that article says either animal was killed. The article says the family owned 2 dogs, one of which killed their son. It then goes on to say the family asked animal control to take away both dogs. There was absolutely nothing in the article laying blame on the pit bull.

Jophiel

i must first salute you. anyone who could successfully juggle working, taking care of a baby and attend regular guild raids as a single parent deserves one.

i’m not. i’m saying that the game can be very distracting. a friendly accomodating guild that allows frequent afks isn’t the kind of guild a hardcore addict would be drawn to.

compared to other harmful addictions, there is little social or legal barriers for an addict being drawn into online gaming. compared to other harmful addictions, there is little physical evidence beyond exhaustion that would show up in a hospital.

as more and more incidents of game related deaths occur, we might want to examine the phenomenon more closely rather than dismiss it as statistics. i guess i’m simply starting to doubt if it is always true that a game addict would have found some other more harmful addiction as a matter of course.

Of course it’s not always the case. That’s not an indictment of online gaming as a whole, though.

You want to get serious - there are millions upon millions of folks playing online games. Demonstrate that those who play online games are (statistically) significantly more likely to harm those in their care.