Missing Marine's Family Fears that Call of Duty May Have Triggered Bad Memories

February 10, 2008 -
Eric Hall, a former Marine who was badly injured in Iraq, is missing from his home in Florida.

As reported by Tampa Bay Online, Hall's family fears that the 24-year-old's post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms may have been aggravated by playing the intensely realistic Call of Duty series:
[Hall's cousin] said that before Hall went missing he also played the video game "Call of Duty." The family said the game may have triggered some unpleasant war memories. Hall's best friend was killed in the same battle in which Hall's leg was injured. He was nearby when the friend was decapitated.

Friends and family have organized a search effort. They believe that Hall may be living off the land. Since being wounded, Hall has been involved in a dispute with the Veterans Administration over his benefits.

GP: While the article refers to Call of Duty, the original game is more than four years old. We're assuming that Hall's family is referring to the more recent, highly popular and very intense modern-day shooter, COD4.

Comments

why do they blame the game
shouldnt....you know what never mind

War games are not bad

But real war can have a devastating effect on the mind.

We should have less real war and more understanding that Videogames are just games...no matter how realistic they appear.

I hope they find him and that he is ok. It is actually a bit plausible that the game could have triggered his PTSD. This isn't the evils of gaming and whatnot, it is something causing him to suffer from bad memories.

Some of you need to read the article. They don't blame the game for what happening they just say that it is possible that it might have aggrivated his condition which isn't completely out of the realm of possibilty.

They showed this on my local news today, only they made no mention of the game.

I can see Fox News tomorrow though: "HEADLINES: SEXBOX GAME FULL OF GAY PORN AND VIOLENCE CAUSES PDSD IN MARINE!"

My father fought in Vietnam, and he tells stories of when he got home, how he was in a club one time, a car back fired and he hit the floor screaming for everyone to get down, memories of the war. It really messes with their brains, and sadly, we don't pay them nearly enough for what they do for us.

Hoorah. :-\

This is why I am never going to join the frontlines in the military. All the trauma would make me stop playing my favorite war games.

"Say, if it was this game and it triggered the flashback, then the game is to blame, "

Wouldn't that be the PTSD to blame and not the game?

its aircraft manufacturers fault, beacuse they builded planes which crashed in wtc and whitout those planes there would not be 9/11
and war in irak.

This is very sad, I've heard a lot of stories about guys that come back from war. I really hope they find him soon. I have heard of a couple people that would realize that PTSD was coming on and would get away from people so that they wouldn't hurt anyone. and for the most part they would just wander around in the woods for days at a time and would usually turn up OK.

That's actually high praise for COD4 isn't it?

Not that any distressed war vet has any business playing it but hey.

Pominator, read above what I said about my father. He was in a freaking club here in the US! It doesn't matter if it links to Iraq or not, its the imagery/sounds of war that triggers it, not exactly the imagery of a specific place.

oh the irony... dont blame the fact he was off fightin in some war we probably didnt need to be in, and his friend died there, instead.. thats completely ok.. but a piece of entertainment software wow... i mean thats just so irresponsible.

... i mean how is it ok to experience real war(something personally i would never wish upon anybody).. but then blame simulated (and really NOT ultra-realistic.. is that even a real word.. thats as bad as hyper-violent) war in a safe environment.. what?

I mean lets face it it wasnt called 'The happy bunny rainbow wish game' was it.. its 'call of duty' . It isnt so complex a rocket scientist thought it up. The guy made the descision to play it. the box and information about it doesnt hide its content. it has an age rating and descriptions. Did these parents ever think that perhaps they are pointing their fingers at the wrong person? I mean if person A (hasnt been to war) can play it fine , but person B (who has been to war) cant... isnt the cause obvious?

In all serious though, i do hope they find this guy, he sounds like he has been through hell, and i wouldnt wish that upon anyone.

hmm reading it again i do see they arent really blaming it i suppose... perhaps i am being too defensive!

Its just one of those things that seems to be said in a context very easy to distort. kind of like placing live ammo out there for JT n the other nutters.

Just as long as it isnt used like that i guess its okay.

[...] [via GamePolitics] [...]

I read through the article before having a knee-jerk reaction. Two paragraphs stood out like sore thumbs to me:

"Relatives believe he is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. They say that before he disappeared, Hall was using his hand like a gun to shoot at imaginary people."

Alright, that right there is a very good indication that he is unfortunately experiencing mental issues, perhaps even showing preemptive signs of a full blown breakdown.

Birge said that before Hall went missing he also played the video game "Call of Duty." The family said the game may have triggered some unpleasant war memories. Hall's best friend was killed in the same battle in which Hall's leg was injured. He was nearby when the friend was decapitated.

I'm no journalist, but I am a frequent consumer of news and have been in the presence of several "on location" interviews and reports. Did anyone else get the feeling that these were leading questions brought up by the reporter and not the family?

In a time of crisis, I just don't see a concerned family member just bringing this up out of the blue.

Hypothetical situation:

Reporter: "Do you think he is dead?"

Courtney Birge: "He's a Marine," said Birge, who is married to Hall's cousin, Adam Birge. "He knows how to survive off the land and find food. We don't feel he is dead. We want him back with us."

Reporter: "Was he playing any violent video games?"

Courtney Birge:

Ack, very sorry to double post but I used some "no, no" symbols to express action....Let me clean that up so it reads better.

I'm no reporter...blah blah...consumer of news...

Quote:
"Birge said that before Hall went missing he also played the video game “Call of Duty.” The family said the game may have triggered some unpleasant war memories."

Reporter: “Do you think he is dead?”

Courtney Birge: “He’s a Marine,” said Birge, who is married to Hall’s cousin, Adam Birge. “He knows how to survive off the land and find food. We don’t feel he is dead. We want him back with us.”

Reporter: “Was he playing any violent video games?”

Courtney Birge: *no direct quote provided* Writer of article mentions a specific game, probably picks wrong iteration.

Reporter: "Do you think the game had an affect on him?"

Courtney Birge: *no direct quote provided* Writer of article provides family's opinion of game play triggering PSD episode....

Emphasis on PROVIDES

It doesn't look like their bashing the game really, their just commenting that their sons PTSD had been effected by playing COD. Which is kinda no suprise really.
I've seen some incidents where just hearing the sound of the M1 Garand used in WW2 being fired in MOH, or COD, and a WW2 veteran went Alert, and started asking questions about who was shooting him, etc.
Wars, battles, even minor skirmishes for the newly initiated recruits can always be the most tramatic.
Yes, the VA is quite screwed up, problem is it sometimes is related to how it works...

That's really too bad, I hope they find him and that he is okay.

Each people deal with things differntly. Some people will view COD as a relief others will view it as a bad memory That's my two cents.

And I hope Eric Hall's alright

[...] Now hold on a second there. Before you start getting your hackles in a bunch and start decrying either videogames or people who blame videogames, take a second to learn the facts. This post on GamePolitics would be a very good place to start. [...]

This is the same old story. There is a correlation between video game play and psychiatric symptoms. But it's not the game content. It's a little known problem discovered because it caused mental breaks for office workers. The cubicle was designed to deal with the vision startle reflex to solve that problem by 1968.

The problem appears several significant places. Qi Gong, Kundalini Yoga, ICU Psychosis in hospitals, and in Landmark Education's seminar The Forum.
 
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