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Everquest Connection Alleged In Child Death 107

Posted by simoniker
from the addiction-and-loss dept.
Thanks to NWAOnline.net for their story regarding a mother facing manslaughter charges which may relate to videogame addiction, following her 3-year-old daughter's death after being left alone in an overheated car. According to the piece, "Authorities said [Mary Christina] Cordell and her boyfriend, Eric Long, 21, may have been so fixated with the interactive game EverQuest that she neglected to pay adequate attention to Brianna's whereabouts on Aug. 8, the day the child died." The article also points out posts to the Spouses Against Everquest mailing-list from Cordell, one of which is controversial, but tragically prescient: "Verant is also an enabler by providing a type of 'entertainment' that requires an inordinary amount of time to do basic functions of the average role playing games... I'm afraid that eventually many more people will be hurt or even killed by this 'service'."
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Everquest Connection Alleged In Child Death

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  • by Quixotic Raindrop (443129) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @05:09PM (#6818309) Journal
    People who would be addicted to Everquest are addicits, anyway. Blaming the developer and distributor for the psychological problems of the player places the blame in the wrong place.
    • by psyco484 (555249) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @05:28PM (#6818555)
      Addiction is a disease and should be treated as such. The people who are addicted to Everquest are, as you said, addicts. I'm not suggesting a 12 step program for Everquest, though I'm sure there must be one, but to say that this child died because of Everquest is just stupid. The child died because of neglect, it's a horrible situation, but it happens. There are bad parents out there, you don't fill out an application to be a parent, in a lot of cases it just takes enough alcohol and an insistent guy. Did anyone take into account that the mother was irresponsible enough to get pregnant at approximately 17 years old and that she's just not a responsible adult yet? I'm guessing no one has brought that up. There are certainly deeper issues than Everquest addiction here....
      • Did anyone take into account that the mother was irresponsible enough to get pregnant at approximately 17 years old and that she's just not a responsible adult yet? I'm guessing no one has brought that up. There are certainly deeper issues than Everquest addiction here....

        The mother was 31 or so when she had the kid. She was 35, it was her husband who was 21. Age shouldn't be a factor on her maturity to have a child.

        pk

        • Actually, to get down and technical about it, the guy was her boyfriend and (I believe) it wasn't actually implied that he was the father of the child. If he was, I'm guessing he would be on trial as well.

          That being said, I totally agree with PK_ERTW- either you're ready or you're not, regardless of age. She was obviously not, it's sad her child had to pay the price.
      • Anyone who calls addictions diseases are displacing responsibility. "Oh it's not MY fault I can't stop doing ________, it's a DISEASE! You can't decide whether or not you get the flu, do you?" If it is a disease, there's an easy cure, that's also very cheap (free) and effective; willpower.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          I think being prone to addiction is a disease. Does alcoholism run in your family, or the family of someone you know?

          This logic is priceless, though:
          If it is a disease, there's an easy cure...

          The sheer number of incurable diseases is mind numbing, in just the physical cases. There are thousands of psychological diseases, and many of them require therapy to overcome. I, myself, suffered through depression for 3 years. You don't just one day say to yourself, "You know what, I'm going to be happy today
        • Not at all true. If willpower were all it took, addiction wouldn't exist. Addictions simply cannot be stopped, broken, willed away just by having more "willpower" ... talk to any competent doctor, social worker, or psychiatrist, and find out for yourself. There is a responsibility issue involved: the person who is addicted needs help, and in an ideal world seeks it. Yes, an addict exhibits behaviors that need to be stopped, and they need to take responsibility for their addictions, but it's not quite as eas
          • Geeze, it never fails. Any discussion in which the word "addiction" is used seems to always prompt people to say something about heroin.

            While heroin is a great example of an addictive drug invoking it while having a discussion about psychological addiction isn't really all that terribly appropriate. Physical addiction and psychological addiction are two very different animals.

            Oh, and about the whole "addiction is a disease" thing: Addiction is _not_ a disease. No one knowledable ever says so either.
            • You are wrong about addiction being a disease. If you are going to say that it is not a disease, then are you also going to say that all of the other psychological disorders, which are medically classified as disease are not either? Addiction is a disease, and a very serious one at that, which is believed to effect more than half the nation in one form or another.
            • While heroin is a great example of an addictive drug invoking it while having a discussion about psychological addiction isn't really all that terribly appropriate. Physical addiction and psychological addiction are two very different animals.

              Check around a bit, I think you'll find that more studies are beginning to show little difference between psychological and physical addictions. In fact, the classification is often considered inappropriate. The reason is that what were previously thought of as psych
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Addiction my ass. I was "addicted" to EverQuest for awhile. I spent far more time than I should playing. At some point I realized this and I STOPPED PLAYING. And guess what? This isn't some medically addictive drug. After a few days it just didn't matter and all of a sudden I had all this free time on my hands.
    • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @05:49PM (#6818777) Homepage Journal
      People who would be addicted to Everquest are addicits, anyway.

      I've never played Everquest, but just hearing so many people call it Evercrack is enough for me to know not to go near it. I've wasted plenty of hours on Sierra Games, Wolf3d, Diablo, etc. Good games are addicting, because fun is addicting. They provide a nice little Skinner box for our overworked selves to escape to.

      For others, it's drugs, gambling, porn, name your vice (why do you think it's called a vice?). All of them can lead to the shirking of responsibilites. I've found it's better to just keep busy and challenged, that way you're not tempted. Idle hands are the instruments of the devil and all that. Get into the habit and it's hard to imagine how you ever used to be bored. There is so much to do.
      • The "people addicting to Everquest are addicts anyway" arguement seems a bit off color. It implies that if they weren't addicted to Everquest, they'd be addicted to something else. Having been fairly deeply involved in a Mud (that's where my handle comes from), I know that if I played a pretty MUD like Everquest, I'd be screwed. I might come back to reality and I might not. It would have a detrimental affect on my work and personal lives. Now, I don't have problems with drugs or booze and am particularly pr
    • Normaly I would agree with this 100%, instead I mostly agree.

      In my experience playing everquest I found that the game requires you to spend an lot of time playing it to enjoy it. In other words the game is only good if your addicted.

      Although, the developers shouldn't be responsible for their users having difficulty with addiction to the game.

      I think the developers should make the game worth playing if you only have a few hours a week to play it.
      • I think the developers should make the game worth playing if you only have a few hours a week to play it.

        Well, I think people shouldn't play the game if they don't have enough time to do so. After all, they're the ones doing the buying. It's not like developers rammed it down your throat.

        Look, you need a valid credit card to play the game, which (usually) means you have to be "legal" to play it, which (most of the time) means you're mature enough to make choices and be responsible for them. (after all, y
    • Hey, how can you expect me to watch tv, go to movies, and enjoy concerts when I have to take care of my children too? If you want me to be better parent, the world needs to stop being so damn entertaining. You can't expect me to have moral responsibility unless it's entertaining to do so.

      (if you nodded in agreement, you're a dumbfuck)
    • Hello. My name is PakProtector, and I'm an addict.

      I actually am. Pot and Acid and anything else I could get my hands on. Including EverQuest.

      I played EverQuest for nearly Three and a Half years, starting the day it came out. If you ever hear someone call the game 'EverCrack,' they're not trying to be funny. It's true.

      I would do nothing but play that game. I would come home from school, not do my homework, and start playing. There were times when my parents would tell me to goto sleep, and then get
      • Not to belittle your experience, but everybody has a choice as to whether they want to pursue something or not.

        I fully agree that sometimes circumstances prompt a person towards a particular path, but in the end following that path is that person's personal *decision*. Nobody tied them down and forced them to try it, or to continue trying it.
        • We have less choice in our lives than you'd think.

          Think about it. When we wake up in the morning and get dressed, who decides what we wear?

          Certainly on the surface we do, but why do we choose what we do? Because of society's influence upon us. Because of marketing targeted at specific age groups, because of what is 'cool,' because of what is socially acceptable.

          We have very little freedom in any choices we make, no matter how much apparent freedom we think we have.

          Anyone who says, 'I can do whatever
          • I certainly understand your point. The influences that exist in the world around us are constantly prompting us to simply follow along and do what all the other good little drones do. Some of the prompting is so subtle to us and so constant that we don't even recognize it *as* prompting any more. (See Daniel Quinn's Ishmael [amazon.com] for a far better and more interesting description of this than I can manage.) And it's soooo easy to just follow along. It's the "herd mentality".

            However, this (or so it seems to

    • I wouldn't forget something like that. I'm not a parent... but! Doing something like that is just stupid. The game is not to have the blame upon it! It is the negligent Everquest-addict who is in the wrong! Why play everquest, anyway?! Actually, I don't know what it's like, but it looks weird. Why not retrogame, like me! Not enough people retrogame. It's so sad...(Sniff!)
  • by SteWhite (212909) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @05:15PM (#6818382)
    This child died because the parents neglected it, simple as that. What they were doing doesn't matter.

    Just because they were playing a computer game, it makes the news. If they were distracted watching TV instead, we would never have heard about it.
    • Yes, but I wonder... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TuringTest (533084) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @05:36PM (#6818644) Journal
      Computers are a fairly new thing, and we really don't know to what extent there is a cause-effect going here.

      I mean, society isn't accustomed to having interactive games which last for so long time. The process of educating people to use them properly should have taken place somehow, but it haven't.

      Just think, if you create a 24 hour alternate reality, why don't try to make the manipulation of your game more adict-safe? Of course the responsability is that of the people malusing the system, but a bit of safety checks in your design wouldn't hurt. At least, TV has frequent 20 second commercials that remind you of a reality different of the inmersive experience.

      Not trying to troll, just wondering beyond the usual "yes but game is not in fault"...
      • by gl4ss (559668) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @05:49PM (#6818786) Homepage Journal
        so society isn't accustomed to parents visiting theatre, going to the movies(some 3-4 hour movies exist), opera, circus, amateur sports, pro sports, dining out without the kids and like?

        uhh. i guess not then.

        they neglected their child.. there's no excuse here, people have had much more important and immersive things to do and manage to keep tabs on where their kid is and they should too.
      • "Computers are a fairly new thing, and we really don't know to what extent there is a cause-effect going here."

        Video games have been around for 30 years. Believe me, if there were a way to make them addictive to the point of ppl neglecting their kids, that game would have been out long ago.

        Part of me wonders if Lawnmower Man had something to do with this paranoia about people getting addicted to games.
      • yeah because no one ever neglected their child or family because they were at the casino or race track gambling, or working late and weekends.

        There have been distractions for as long as there have been people on the planet ("Gronk sure take long time hunting, me wonder if him still love me. Or if him just dead."). The fact that these distractions are there doesn't lessen a persons responsibility.

      • That is a really good point. Perhaps the designers could put in some sort of safety guard in their design parameters, such as "No quest will take over an hour to complete" to provide for easy save and break times where people can bail on the game after completing a quest that took an hour or less. This way players feel like they have accomplished something on their "online" world, as well as not having wasted several hours to make it happen. Unfortunately, being a previous MUD player myself, I know that
        • Perhaps the designers could put in some sort of safety guard in their design parameters, such as "No quest will take over an hour to complete" ...
          It's not supposed to be easy, that's where the challenge lies. What you suggest makes as much sense as low nicoteen cigarettes. Would you like there to be some kind of warning on games?
          1. GOOD GAME:
          2. This may take time.
      • Whether a computer was involved or not, Cordell should have brought her kid in from the car before doing ANYTHING else. I don't care if you're unloading groceries, laundry, running to answer the phone, whatever, you don't leave a kid, especially that young, in a car unattended for any length of time - even long enough to run in to a convenience store - without running the risk of something bad happening, whether it's death or kidnapping or whatever.

        Safety checks in the game wouldn't have mattered, the kid
    • None of the other cases of "lil' sizzlers" (I love that term) have involved placing blame on the the bar/retail store where the neglecting parent was...

      If mom decides to go get drunk at the bar and leave Junior in the car, nobody starts blaming the liquor companies...
    • As a regular reader of Obscure Store [obscurestore.com], it seems I have seen one or two of these every week since Summer started. See also this story [cnn.com] on CNN. It is indeed unfortunate that some people in this case are using this death to grind their ax against video games, but it is definitely not the sole reason that it is reported.
    • As the parent of an almost 2 year old, my first reaction is to feel the tragedy and heartbreak of a poor kid dying this way. Terrible.

      Tragically, there have already been 36 kids who've died in the U.S. after being left in hot cars this summer. Similar numbers have been happening since '98 according to this article [go.com].

      Just because they were playing a computer game, it makes the news. If they were distracted watching TV instead, we would never have heard about it.

      As far as I can tell, this is the only one

    • Agreed -- I don't think the child's death has all that much to do with Everquest.

      I think the story is newsworthy not because the reporter takes the excuse seriously, but because it is so very idiotic. People love to read news stories in which other people screw up and then offer incredibly lame excuses for their behavior. And the lamer the excuse, the better. I feel compelled to read this kind of news story because I'd like to believe I'd never be so lame as to offer an excuse like that myself. No, i
  • by Alpha27 (211269) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @05:16PM (#6818397)
    Self-control?

    The user decides to continue and forget about life, then it's not the fault of the developer. The person has CHOSEN to forget the real world, for the virtual one. Don't blame the developer if the user neglects life.

    It's obvious users like these are missing something from their real lives that they escape so easily into the virtual one.
    • Couldn't the same thing be said of heroin?
      • No, because heroin causes more of a physical addition in addition to the mental. Heroin alters the chemistry of your mind. A game is a game. Discipline, it's about knowing when to say when with a game.

        Maybe the question should be "why don't developers provide a test before someone can play to confirm they won't get addicted"

        Then it will be followed by a cheat guide to pass the test.

        Then to counter this cheating, you will have to go to an approved center to take an exam to play the game, and certify you
        • Just a minor quibble.. In light of recent studies that indicate a small increase in dopamine levels when a person acquires a new piece of information, there is some change in psychochemistry going on here that may have a mild physical addiction. Nothing in even the same ballpark as heroin or other opiates, however.

          This doesn't justify the hysterical implications of "EverQuest killed my marriage / this child", though; if it hadn't been EQ, it would have been some other escapist fantasy. The only solid wa
          • A major factor that's often overlooked when talking about drugs vs. computer games, is, in my opinion, ease of use.

            Pleasure is, most of the time, a pleasure vs. pain equation. For instance, Heroin requires that one buys heroin (illegal) and injects it into his bloodstream via needle. This is a very painful and difficult procedure. It's also an extremely pleasurable one (or, so it appears).

            Everquest takes extremely little effort to play. This makes it's smaller pleasures "more" rewarding.

            Think about it: H
    • Why don't people ever talk about addiction to things like movies, or stuff?! Everybody ALWAYS (Including my parents, I'm only 15) target video games as bad because "Oh, they're addictive. Oh, you don't get anything out of it. Oh, why don't you go read that one stupid book?" I mean, my Mom has confessed to being addicted to reading. What about that?! We can watch ALL the movies we want, but nowhere near that with video games. That's why I'm building my own computer. Anyone want to contribute? My address is..
  • by lightspawn (155347) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @05:16PM (#6818403) Homepage
    The average slashdot reader spends so much time browsing and playing games that he's extremely unlikely to have any children in the first place.
  • This is joke... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wbav (223901) <Guardian.Bob+Slashdot@gmail.com> on Thursday August 28, 2003 @05:16PM (#6818404) Homepage Journal
    Right? Come on, doesn't anyone take responsibility any more? If she was in front of the TV, would it be called an addiction to Fox?

    You are responsible for your children, and if this lady ignored her child due to a computer game, well that's not the game's fault.
  • "addiction" (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bigbigbison (104532) * on Thursday August 28, 2003 @05:17PM (#6818424) Homepage
    While it is certainly sad that someone died, it is unfortunate that videogmes are once again being used as a scapegoat. There are many other hobbies that people participate in for hours and hours a day but are rarely if ever considered an "addiction" or scapegoated in the same way that videogames so often are.

    How many people do we know who can't miss an episode of a soap opera? or how many people spend all night every night watching television? It seems highly likely that many more marriages have been broken up over a man who spend all his time working on his car than have been broken up by online games. What about every episode of Behind The Music where the musician neglects his family in order to make music go on tour and entertain? But none of these are stigmatised or scapegoated by being called "addictions."

    I'm not arguing the technical definition of addiction. As I said, what I'm talking about is that there are lots of other activities out there that people do that take up just as much time as playing videogames but they aren't commonly called "addictions." Why is this? It seems that once again it goes back to the notion of moral panics and that people always seem to be looking to blame the new thing for old problems as a way of finding easy answers to complex problems. Children have died by playing in cars before and unfortunatly they almost certainly will again. It is terrible, but the problem is not Everquest. That Everquest is blamed is yet another sign that videogames are not respected and that they are even feared.
    • Calling for responsible behavior based on personal freedom to act is all well and good but it often fails when it becomes time to create laws and place blame.

      Dennis Leary used to have a skit about how we should decrease the population by removing all railings around high places. If you're stupid enough to fall off then you deserve to die anyway, and good riddance. If you think about it, there's some truth to that: I think that I would be fine if they removed all the railings, I'd just be a little more

    • I hear all the time about kids dying while their parent(s) went into a store and forgot about them. And people say "So sad...must've just got carried away, it could happen to anyone..." If it was because of some Everquest-addict they would target gaming as bad, and so on. I have a sister who's a true horse-freak. I mean, everything horses. I love gaming. but do I get to game as much as she rides horses? NO WAY! Of course, that's because, "Oh, riding horses gives you exercise, and you're outside when you do
  • by ghost. (85872) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @05:17PM (#6818425)
    I could have gotten FP, but I was too busy playing EQ.
  • Slippery Slope? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Captain Rotundo (165816) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @05:21PM (#6818458) Homepage
    I ussually hate the slippery slop arguement more than anyone, but this issue is the perfect case to point it out. We are trending towards a society in which no one is ever held responsible for their actions. I know addiction is a serious problem for people but where do we draw the line? Adults have to be treated like adults.

    Now that I have a small child I cannot possibly fathom doing anything to harm his wellbeing. Everyday I wake up I have the urge to earn the most I can and provide the best I can for My son, and when I see negligence like this I can't understand how it happens. I don't think there is an addictive substance or activity that would ever have greater sway over me than my son. I can't explain the bond, and I don't try to, but neglecting him to play a game?

    What happened to the responsibility people used to have for their children? We live in a world where far to many parents feel like they are entitled to entertainment of some kind and the child be damned if it gets in the way? People constantly drag their kids to places they shouldn't, they constantly bitch about poor teachers when they don't care themselves. I used to feel this way and think to my self that maybe my perspective would change when I had a child. Now I am even more disgusted when I see they way kids are treated/ignored in public and the lack of responsibility people take for them.
    • Re:Slippery Slope? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by nanojath (265940) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @05:43PM (#6818726) Homepage Journal
      I think the issue that is consistently ignored (and this weird little case, as tragic as its outcome is, is just one tip of the big giant iceberg) is that these people are screwed up in the first place - and their neglect of the ordinary things that humans care deeply about, ie their children's welfare, in exchange for artificial accomplishments in an artificial world, are just the outer symptoms of being deeply disconnected from reality and unhappy with themselves and their lives.


      How many people who like games haven't spent a few hours too many on some obscure challenge and lost half a night's sleep as a result? Probably not such a great choice, and certainly the nature of games facilitates this choice. Likewise, most people who drink on some occasion drank too much and suffered as a result, and certainly the intoxicating effect of alcohol is what that's about. Indicting the manufacturers of a game for making it engrossing and time consuming is like condemning liquor manufacturers for putting alcohol in booze. It just doesn't really make much sense, and it illustrates the reality that a human being who is trying to escape reality will find some way to do it. If we want to do something social about it we can create more public awareness about compulsive behaviors and the serious problems they can lead to, and put more public money into treatment (which would save us money in the long run), but in the end these problems will always, always exist, because of the people who don't really WANT to change. Personally, I think it is the avoidance of this unpleasant reality that so often drives the urge to demonize what are merely symptoms.

    • I love the idea of a "slippery slop" argument - can anybody think of one?
    • I can see you making a mistake right there. "Everyday I wake up I have the urge to earn the most I can...."

      So money is the only thing a dad (I presime you are male) can give to a child? Nice. You don't have to earn as much as possible. Enough will do quit nicely. If you are lucky enough to be able to provide a decent living for your family AND be able to spend time at home with your kid(s) then choose this over earning the maximum salery overtime can bring.

      Sure kids love that really expensive toy. But th

      • Sorry but I think you are seriously misunderstanding Rotundo's post. Yes, he said he wakes up with the urge to earn the most he can, but he also said he wished to provide the best for his son and that no addiction could have greater sway over him than his son, that he has an incredible bond. How does this possibly imply that 'money' and 'toys' are the only things he wishes to give to his child? To me, his point is that he wishes to be as responsible as possible, even more so, now that he has this new per
  • I'm afraid that eventually many more people will be hurt or even killed by this 'service'

    Characters die in raids all the time, that's why there are clerics who can raise dead. I don't understand what the problem is. Just bug Rumpkin and he'll take care of it.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    According to this [recordsearchlight.com] report. As of the 22nd of this month, 36 children have died this year from being left in a hot car. Everquest certainly isn't to blame.
  • Hmm... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Vaevictis666 (680137) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @05:24PM (#6818503)
    Is it just me or did anyone else get the impression that the mother, as little as 3 months ago, was posting to the Spouses Against EverQuest board saying that the was against it, and that her ex-husband was the one that was too engrossed with it? I'd've thought she'd be too fed up with it to play...
  • Responsability (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ptaff (165113) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @05:24PM (#6818505) Homepage
    Am I the only one tired of this "It's never the criminal's fault" fashion?

    It's videogame's fault, television's fault, society's fault, and so on - when they don't blame insanity or psychological disabilities.

    Here in Canada, a girl who got drunk in an office party - thanks to the boss, with an open bar - drove her car and had an accident.

    She sued her boss and won.

    I mean, with DNA analysis kicking in, in a couple of years, there will be no more responsability for any crime. ... but on the other hand, people, when they succeed at something, are 100% responsible for it.
    • Re:Responsability (Score:5, Informative)

      by PK_ERTW (538588) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @05:40PM (#6818691)
      Here in Canada, a girl who got drunk in an office party - thanks to the boss, with an open bar - drove her car and had an accident.

      This is a little off-topic, but since you brought it up, you should get the details correct. This case stinks (and is one of Canada's worst civil lawsuits in my opinion) because the lady drank at the party and was offered a drice home, cab fare, and a hotel room to stay in. She refused all three and instead went to a bar to drink further. She then drove home well after the party ended. Both her employer and the bar were found liable (some percentage each)

      This is not only an example of someone taking responsiblity for there own actions, but a travesty that the courts agreed it was not her fault.

      pk

      • Re:Responsability (Score:3, Informative)

        by protohiro1 (590732)
        In an aside, the woman you mentioned was quite clearly a certifiable addict. The questions we should ask to see if gaming passes the addiction test: have you tried to quit and couldn't? Has your gaming caused you to miss work or severely hampered your work? Have you been fired over your gaming?

        here is an AA questionare [recoveryzone.org], maybe its applicable...
  • by smallfries (601545) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @05:26PM (#6818531) Homepage
    It's good to see that they actually asked someone with a clue to quote for a change. All too often people will jump on the popularity bandwagon and say that its terrible that (videogames/television/insert arbitrary passtime here) is evil and should be banned. I'm glad they hit a psychologist who actually points out that there is no recognised addiction to videogaming. Addiction is a much over-used word, whilst there are real addictions in the world (heroin, ciggerettes, alchohol ...) something that you do because you enjoy it, is *not* an addiction. If it leads you to neglect things in your life that are more important then that can be a tragedy but people need to learn self-control instead of blaming their problems on others.
  • by Dr. Bent (533421) <ben@OOOint.com minus threevowels> on Thursday August 28, 2003 @05:26PM (#6818532) Homepage
    ...sue sombody because it's not your fault.

    What the fuck happened to the concept of personal repsonsibility! Jesus H. Tapdancing Christ!

    "I murder people because I was abused as a child."

    "I rob people because the system keeps me poor."

    "I'm addicted to drugs because nobody will give me a job."

    BULLSHIT!

    It's not the government's job to take care of you. It's not Verant's job to take care of you. It's not Nabisco's or Microsoft's or Anyone's job to take care of you...except you. And if you can't take care of yourself, I'm sorry; But that's no excuse to drag the rest of us down too. If we keep heading down this road, eventually they'll be nobody left but laywers and 'victims', and modern civilization will grind to a halt.
    • If we keep heading down this road, eventually they'll be nobody left but laywers and 'victims', and modern civilization will grind to a halt.

      Eventually? ;)
    • Woah, you shouted an explative and got modded informative. Good work.

      Its my opinion that the thinking of these people is a byproduct of an entire generation of people who were "raised" without parents who had parents who didn't set boundries. If your parents don't set boundries what boundries are you going to run into? The government, business, and The Man in general.
    • If we keep heading down this road, eventually they'll be nobody left but laywers and 'victims'

      And this is exactly how (most of) the lawyers want it. The bad lawyers don't care about what's morally right, they just care about what lines their wallets. And they will even bend the laws themselves to further their own gain.
  • Hi there (Score:3, Insightful)

    by XO (250276) <blade.eric@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Thursday August 28, 2003 @05:30PM (#6818566) Homepage Journal
    I would like to say, that, although the other 7 messages here are absolutely correct -- EverQuest is not at DIRECT fault for this woman's child's death -- it is NOT the fault of the video game...

    However ... Read the post that she made, referenced in the original article, from LAST October. There's just as much TRUTH in that article, as there is rambling from the mind of a psychological addict -- The game is designed to attract those with seriously psychoaddictive personality issues.

    Think about THAT message, in relation to all of this. Massive fore-shadowing, in a very sad fashion :(

    We all know there's massive quantities of EQ junkies, we know there's MUD junkies, we know there's TV junkies, and Pool junkies, and arcade junkies, and Golden Tee Golf Junkies, and there's code-junkies and web-browsing junkies, and porn junkies, and so on, and so on, and so on ..

    But rather than concentrating on why the media picked it up (not a whole heck of a lot of media yet, either, and it's been quite some time), why not discuss something more useful?

    I wouldn't just dismiss this as "the parents suck" .. Obviously the parents realised BEFORE hand that they had problems.. but were unable to solve that problem.. and that led to the death of her child.. and that's just not right.

    Rather than talk about dumb ass stupid shit, why can't we all, as nerds, talk about things that might help someone?

    • But rather than concentrating on why the media picked it up (not a whole heck of a lot of media yet, either, and it's been quite some time), why not discuss something more useful?

      You're right. We don't need to concentrate on that. I'll tell you why the media picked it up so we can move on. They picked it up because EverQuest 2 is on the hype offensive.

      It'd be nice if a MMORPG tried to make gameplay a rewarding and even educational experience instead of pure reward-centre fuelled crack.

      If the $$
      • Also, the article that was pointed to in the main article here, was a local newspaper to the incident, wasn't it? I'd expect that ANY case of ANYONE letting their kid run around in a car and die from it is GOING to make local news rags, and it's GOING to make some national short story! I'm surprised I haven't at least seen it on the CNN Headline News Ticker.. really..

        Like the dumbass chick that left her 3 kids locked in their car near Detroit a few years ago while she went into the hair salon and had her
    • why can't we all, as nerds, talk about things that might help someone?

      Yeah, like how people need to learn to moderate their game playing? Or how people need to learn to recognize their addiction?

      Or are you talking about how every day people in this world want to fuck up the world by stupidifying the world until it reaches their level of intelligence? Is it the job of the smart to make sure that the stupids don't pick up a knife by the wrong end and slice their hand open while trying to cut a tomato wit
  • So, today's scapegoat is game addiction?
    Back in the day it was rock'n'roll music.
    Then it was heavy metal.

    Personally, i blame today's manufactured pop-acts.

    Is it a coincidence that "Stab Risen Prey" is an anagram of "Britney Spears"?

    Here's some more:

    "baby rock testes" (Backstreet Boys)
    "casual iran tiger hi" (Christina Aguilera)
    "a dry one mom" (Mandy Moore)
    "a builtin jerk stem" (Justin Timberlake)

    For more anagram fun, apt-get install wordplay
    (unless you're not using debian, in which case - HA HAH!)
    • As it was described on The Simpson's:

      Wiggum: Now, what I am about to show you next may shock and educate you. Hold onto your values as we step through the looking glass into a hippie pot party.

      [flicks a switch, lighting a mannequin with a joint crudely stuck to his mouth]

      While Johnny Welfare plays acid rock on a stolen guitar, his old lady has a better idea.

      [lights up another mannequin, of a woman opening wide to eat a baby sandwich. (That's a sandwich with a baby in it, not a really tiny sandwich.

  • If EQ made her neglect her kid, then I wonder what listening to Black Sabbath would make her do? After she commits suicide then her family can sue not only Sony but Ozzy too!
  • by Anonymous Coward
  • by Muhammed Absol (670439) on Thursday August 28, 2003 @06:18PM (#6819075)
    It's sickening how many bad parents I've encountered in the game. There was a woman we removed from the guild that used to constantly complain about her 7 year old son and said she has to lock him in a closet during major raids so that he wouldn't interrupt her. Then you have the 40+ year old house wives who flirt with all the 16 year old males all day. It's SICK how many there are of these. Everquest really does have a problem on their hands, their product isn't responsible for it, as these people would be find other things that cater to their mental problems, but they have a great oppertunity to find a way to help people. Perhaps people who log too many hours during a week could be offered counselling via e-mail? They obviously have a problem.
    • Although I think accusing the game is stupid, I will concede that there are some times in the game that for certian classes, require 100% attention for extended periods of time (3-4 hours). Many of these cases are not because of guild/raid leader faults, but because of insane rates of spawn in the general area.

      This, obviously, does not place blame on the game makers. It does go to show you, though, how people can feel "trapped" into the game in the immediate sense. (Of course, things like the welfare of
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Only a deranged criminal would lock their kid up in a closet for a couple of hours so they could raid. Someone should've petitioned that shit. SOE staff can contact local authorities, I've heard of it being done when someone said they we're going to commit suicide.
  • I hope we get notified when this case is thrown out.

    Providing a service that normal people can handle is not a problem. The negligent parent is. I can do anything I want, if I enjoy it too much, who's fault is that?

    Just another American trying to place the blame elsewhere. No one here wants to take responsibility for their actions.

    Computers should be illegal, because I ignore things when I use them! Such bull. . .
  • If the kid died because mom was too engrossed in a mystery novel series, I doubt very much that anyone would blame the book or its author.

    This is ridiculous.
  • Remember reading a story about a Korean bloke who had been playing Linage for a day or two straight and died of heart failure in an internet cafe.

    Anyway, I would hesitate to think it was Verrants fault for the irresponsibility of the parents. But in my direct cases, like the one above, I would say there is atleast some responsibility for gamers actions. NONE of these games come with a warning label like ciggarettes carry warnings about addictions, ill-pregnancies due to smoking, cancer, shorter life span
    • Cigarette packages have surgeon general warnings because cigarettes can cause permanent, physical damage. That shit's more addictive than heroin and it's a physical addiction. EQ is a mental addiction. You become an addict because you let yourself become an addict. Smokers are addicts because their brain needs the nicotine.

      No software writer is responsible, in any sense, for it's users actions. That's like Microsoft is responsible for Blaster. They're not. Granted, if Windows was written better, it would
    • Oddly enough, Final Fantasy XI has exactly that sort of warning on it's opening screen. Something to the effect 'While we want you to have fun in our world, please remember that spending too much time gaming can be a detriment to your social life of family and friends...' etc. A little cheesy, but well-meant. :) Ragnorak Online has similar messages on it's loading screens.
  • Get a life!


    And I don't mean the 'insert coin' kind of 'life' (or the 'click the funky icon' kind, for that matter).
    Just get up and away from the computer... Heyy! the Sun is shining outside! The cats're meowing in the kitchen (what, did I forget to feed them?) and... whoa, where's my daughter???

    Smile..! You're on Slashdot!

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Suck a cock!


      And I don't mean the 'insert cock' kind of 'sucking'(or the 'click the penis icon' kind, for that matter).
      Just get up and away from the computer... Heyy! the Cocks are getting errected outside! The pussies're meowing in the kitchen (what, did I forget to fuck them?) and... whoa, where's my daughter??? Oh yeah, I fucked her too.

      Smile..! You're sucking a COCK!
  • Maybe they should sue the car company. Obviously the car gets to hot when left in the summer heat. They, of course, should be responsible. We live in a free country. We should have the right to leave our small children anywhere we want for long periods of time and do whatever we feel like, and not have them end up dead. What is this country comming to?
  • 2 things:
    First of all I invite slashdot readers to NOT click on news such as this, all you are doing is adding "hits" to this "news" and making it "hot" (media loves that) most of the people who read this kind of stuff are gamers, and at the end this only "adds" credibility to something otherwise wouldnt beat a dead horse. Eventually normal people will grow tired of this kind of "news" and realize is nothing but bull but we need to start with us.

    I have an idea. let game companies SUE idiot users for ab
  • First, I've never played the game, but I've heard from several co-workers that it's addictive. One admits he's got a slight problem with it, but has enough self-control to still make it to work.

    Bars have limits. Most bars have a closing time and many towns, cities, states, or the bar itself have laws/rules that prevent the sale of booze to those who are visibly intoxicated. (exceptions happen) This limits what the person without self control can do to him/herself, but the closing time and intoxicated r

  • So, I was checking the troll-fest that is "Spouses against Everquest", and I discovered that they are an advertising supported board. [evilbastard.org]

    Oh, that's just so tasteful. At least it's a advert for Age of Wonders, rather then EQ
  • Everquest is not designed to be a diversion as are most games (and other forms of entertainment). Because of the subscription model, it was created as a Skinner Box of a game, designed only to take up time. There is no intellectual element whatsoever in Everquest. The forces of desire that this game taps into are purely Pavlovian. There is little to seperate it from something like Statbuilder [voidptr.com]. I would feel a little sick to have created something so actively nihilistic.
  • oh come on mom, suck it up and take some responsibility. jebus christ, not another video-game-blame-game. sorry, but this irks me. Supposedly by now, because of my exposure to Vice City, I should be a serial murderer. argh.

  • They better start suing supermarkets next, I believe that most kids and animals that die in locked cars do so at supermarkets.
  • Am I the only one here who noticed it's in Arkansas? What else could they blame the death on?


  • ***CHILD NEEDS FOOD BADLY

    (anti-lameness filter crap goes here)
  • So much for the concept of personal responsibiity. What is wrong with the American mentality? Guns don't Kill People, Bullets Don't kill people. People Kill people. Everquest didn't have ANY part in that child's death, negligent parents killed the child. It's just more litigation seeding.
  • and no one would have a problem convicting this woman of manslaughter. Just about anything can be addictive, however, most of these things also have legitimate uses. Most people would not say a poker game between friends is anything to be worried about, but if you leave your child in the car to play poker and she dies, you are responsible. For everyone who is hopelessly addicted to MMORPGs, there are tens if not hundreds more who simply use them for entertainment. The problem here is not the games thems

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