Thursday, 23 August 2012

Controversial cases of gaming addiction

On November 22, 1997, thirteen-year-old Noah Wilson died when his friend Yancy stabbed him in the chest with a kitchen knife. The mother of Noah, Andrea Wilson, alleged that her son was stabbed to death because of an obsession with the game Mortal Kombat. She alleged that Yancy S. was so obsessed with the game that he believed himself to be the character Cyrax. This character purportedly uses a finishing move which involves getting the opponent in a headlock and stabbing them in the chest.

On April 20, 1999, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris killed 12 students and a teacher in the Columbine High School Massacre. The two were allegedly obsessed with the video game “Doom”. Harris also created mods for the game, and created a large mod named "Tier" which he called his "life's work".

In April 2000, 16-year-old Spanish teenager José Rabadán Pardo murdered his father, mother and his sister with a katana, proclaiming that he was on an "avenging mission" by Squall Leonhart, the main Character of the video game Final Fantasy VIII.

In February 2003, 16-year-old American Dustin Lynch was charged with aggravated murder and made an insanity defense that he was "obsessed" with GTA III.

On June 7, 2003, 18-year-old American Devin Moore shot and killed two policemen and a dispatcher after grabbing one of the officers' weapons following an arrest for the possession of a stolen vehicle. At trial, the defense claimed that Moore had been inspired by the video game GTA: Vice City.

On June 25, 2003, two American step brothers, Joshua and William Buckner, aged 14 and 16, respectively, used a rifle to fire at vehicles on in Tennessee, killing a 45-year-old man and wounding a 19-year-old woman. The two shooters told investigators they had been inspired by GTA III.

In October 2004, a 41-year-old Chinese man named Qiu Chengwei stabbed 26-year-old Zhu Caoyuan to death over a dispute regarding the sale of a virtual weapon the two had jointly won in the game “The Legend of Mir”.

On December 27, 2004, 13-year-old Xiao Yi committed suicide by jumping from a twenty-four story building in Tianjan, China, as a result of the effects of his addiction, hoping to be "reunited" with his fellow gamers in the afterlife, according to his suicide notes. Prior to his death, he had spent 36 consecutive hours playing Warcraft III.

In June 2007, 22-year-old Alejandro Garcia from Texas shot his cousin dead after arguing over whose turn it was to play the game Scarface:The world is yours. He pleaded guilty for murder at his trial on April 6, 2011, and will serve 15 to 30 years in prison.

In December 2007, 17-year-old Lamar Roberts and 16-year-old Heather Trujillo were accused of beating a seven-year-old girl to death. They are said to have been imitating the moves taken from the game "Mortal Kombat".

In December 2007, a Russian man was beaten to death over an argument in the MMORPG Lineage 2. The man was killed when his guild and a rival one challenged each other to a real-life brawl.

In June 2008, four teens allegedly obsessed with GTA IV went on a crime spree after being in New Hyde Park, New York. They first robbed a man, knocking his teeth out and then they stopped a woman driving a black BMW and stole her car and her cigarettes.

On August 2, 2008, Polwat Chinno, a 19-year-old Thai teenager, stabbed a Bangkok taxi driver to death during an attempt to steal the driver's cab in order to obtain money to buy a copy of Grand Theft Auto IV. A police official said that the teen was trying to copy a similar act in the game.

On October 13, 2008, the Disappearance of Brandon Crisp
and his subsequent death involving, according to his parents, obsessive playing of Call of duty 4: Modern Warfare has been referenced in discussions about video game obsession.

In January 2010, Gary Alcock punched, slapped and pinched his partner's 15-month-old daughter in the three weeks leading up to her death before he delivered a fatal blow to the stomach which tore her internal organs because she interrupted him playing his Xbox. She died from internal bleeding after suffering 35 separate injuries including multiple bruises, rib fractures and brain damage, which were comparable to injuries suffered in a car crash. Alcock was jailed for life and must serve at least 21 years.
In May 2010, French gamer Julien Barreaux located and stabbed a fellow player who had stabbed Barreaux on the game Counter-Strike. The judge at his trial called him "a menace to society."

On November 29, 2010 in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 16-year-old boy Kendall Anderson bludgeoned his mother to death in her sleep with a claw hammer after she took away his Playstation.

On April 9, 2011 in Alphen Aan Den Rijn, The Netherlands, 24-year-old Tristan van der Vlis opened fire in a shopping mall, releasing more than a hundred bullets with a semi-automatic rifle and a handgun, killing 6 people and wounding 17 others, after which he also killed himself. A fair amount of attention was given to the fact that Van Der Vlis had been playing Call of duty: Modern Warfare 2 and to the alleged similarities between the events in Alphen a/d Rijn and the controversial  in the game (also known as the 'Airport Massacre') where the player can choose to (or choose not to) partake in the killing of a large group of innocent people inside an airport terminal.

Press reports in November 2005 state that Greg J. Kleinmark, 24, pleaded "guilty to two counts of "involuntary manslaughter". He "left fraternal twins Drew and Bryn Kleinmark unattended in a bathtub for 30 minutes, in order to go three rooms away and play on his "Game Boy Advance" while "in the mean time, the two ten-months old kids drowned"

 Darisabel Baez, the 2-year-old daughter to 19-year-old Neida E. Baez, was beaten to death with a video game controller by Neida’s then boyfriend, Harve L. Johnson, in April of last year. Bizarrely, the girl was brought to her mother unconscious and soaking wet because Howard had tried to revive her in the bathtub.  He refused to tell police his reason for the murder.

Tyrone Spellman, 27, played long hours on his Xbox, So when his 17 month year old daughter pulled on some cords and tipped the Xbox to the ground, breaking it. He became completely enraged.He struck her with such force that it cracked her skull several times. The autopsy too, revealed a broken arm that was at least two weeks old which social workers had failed to identify previously.

In 2007, A 13-year-old boy named Dinh killed an 81-year-old woman and stole her money in order to fund an online gaming addiction.  Vietnamese police report that Dinh strangled the woman with a piece of rope, then buried her in a pile of sand in front of his house.  Owing to his age, he was not sent to prison, but to a reeducation camp from which he will be released after for good behavior.

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