Magazine Profile of Missing Gamer Focuses on Game Addiction

November 5, 2008 -

Maclean's, a weekly news magazine in Canada, has published a lengthy article on the Brandon Crisp disappearance.

What Happened to Brandon? zeroes on Brandon's supposed addiction to Call of Duty 4:

The police are still searching the nearby fields, but the large-scale volunteer search that has been going on in recent weeks is over. Hopes that Brandon might be comfortably hiding out in one of the expensive summer homes on Lake Simcoe are all but dead. The question hangs heavier than ever: what happened to Brandon Crisp? His parents have ideas and they all centre on the video game and the growing fear that Brandon's addiction might prove fatal...

 

But what confounds everyone involved in this case, from the police to his parents, is that beyond his devotion to Call of Duty, he showed no outward signs of trouble. "He was a teenager who had a problem, but he wasn't a problem teenager," says Sgt. Dave Goodbrand of the Barrie police...

Among others, Maclean's also spoke with Dr. David Walsh of the National Institute on Media and the Family:

I don't think [video game companies] want to touch addiction with a 10-foot pole. It raises all sorts of liability issues for them. And my interpretation is that their strategy is to ignore it and hope it will go away. If you talk to front-line counsellors in places like universities they'll tell you that this is a huge issue. The way people are viewing this is changing quickly.

ECA president Hal Halpin is quoted from a prior interview with the Washington Times:

What we're really talking about here is media addiction, but unfortunately we're not even talking about that. The issue has been politicized down to games, to the exclusion of all other media, including movies, music and television. It seems disingenuous on its face.

Over at The Escapist, Andy Chalk has a rant about the Maclean's piece:

The most recent example of the "games made him do it" coverage appeared in this week's edition of Maclean's magazine... What the hell? ...The boy's father has proclaimed his belief for some time now that Brandon's gaming habits had something to do with his disappearance, although actual evidence to that effect - beyond the fact that he ran away from home after a fight over the Xbox - is scant...

 

Brandon Crisp's disappearance highlights one of the biggest problems facing the gaming industry today: Not that videogames are or aren't the greatest scourge faced by civilization since Elvis, but that they're consistently presented as such, to one degree or another, by the mainstream media...

GP: Meanwhile, Brandon remains missing. He has been gone for 23 days. CanWest is now reporting comments from Barrie Police spokesman Sgt. Dave Goodbrand which seem to indicate that the investigation may be moving away from Brandon's gaming:

[Brandon's Xbox 360 is] still being analyzed a little further, but at this point we have no reason to believe there is any connection to date between the Xbox and his disappearance.

FULL DISCLOSURE DEPT: The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics.


Comments

Re: Magazine Profile of Missing Gamer Focuses on Game Addiction

I think that blaming one part of the problem never ends well. It's pathetic, because they never focused on his other problems. They automatically blame video games.

This occurs with scapegoating a bunch. Blame the thing of hatred, even though there were a crapload of other factors.

Re: Magazine Profile of Missing Gamer Focuses on Game Addiction

A sad news of update: the boy is found dead.

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/531082

Re: Magazine Profile of Missing Gamer Focuses on Game Addiction

"If you talk to front-line counsellors in places like universities they'll tell you that this is a huge issue. The way people are viewing this is changing quickly."

So....quotes?  Sources?  Names?  How about you actually um...TALK TO THESE PEOPLE and print their statements?  Oh that's right, they probably told you to get lost and come back when YOU had a degree is physchology.

Re: Magazine Profile of Missing Gamer Focuses on Game Addiction

I'd like to say that this sort of slanted reporting is the reason I let my subscription to Maclean's run out, but actually I was just tired of Barbara Amiel whining about how her husband (ruined ex-pat Conrad Black) was "mistreated" by the American justice system.  Shouldn't have renounced your Canadian citizenship if you wanted sympathy, old man!

But holy-moly -- I have never seen such an unsaturated collection of abject falsehoods in this magazine before.  This journalism is too yellow even for my tastes.  Canada's most-circulated news magazine deserves better.  I'm gonna write a letter to the editor, and I strongly suggest that anyone who feels the same should do so as well.

Update: posted it.

---
The Mammon Industry

---
Fangamer

Re: Magazine Profile of Missing Gamer Focuses on Game Addiction

"[Brandon's Xbox 360 is] still being analyzed a little further, but at this point we have no reason to believe there is any connection to date between the Xbox and his disappearance."

wow, took them that long to figure it out?

*facepalm*

Re: Magazine Profile of Missing Gamer Focuses on Game Addiction

He left willingly.  He had friends online.

Maybe day 1-3 you focus on those who physically saw him.

But by the end of the first week, I'd be begging the community that knew him really well, the online community, for ANY and all help.

Whether you identified his online identity or not, there was still a pretty good chance that the fact his online persona went missing at about the same time should be helpful in identifying him to his close friends and community.

Nightwng2000

NW2K Software

Nightwng2000 has also updated his MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Re: Magazine Profile of Missing Gamer Focuses on Game Addiction

My money is on them finding him dead with no evidence that xbox or cod4 had anything to do with it and years later they will still bring it up blaiming it on video games ... Cho anyone?

Re: Magazine Profile of Missing Gamer Focuses on Game Addiction

That or he's found dead with a CoD4 disc lodged in his skull...

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Magazine Profile of Missing Gamer Focuses on Game Addiction

O.o, is that possible?

Re: Magazine Profile of Missing Gamer Focuses on Game Addiction

Ever seen Hellraiser 3?

Re: Magazine Profile of Missing Gamer Focuses on Game Addiction

He's dead. Very tragic etc etc and all that vomit. Lets move on. Denial isn't a river in Egypt.

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Magazine Profile of Missing Gamer Focuses on Game Addiction

The sad thing is, the longer this goes on, the higher the probability that this will end in tragedy.  While I hope he's alright, with each passing day I'm expecting to hear him found dead or something else horrible.

One of the things I wonder about all of this media attention, though, is that it may possibily be causing him to remain hidden.  One of the theories going around is that he might have broken into one of the unused cottages and is holding up in there.  If this is the case, assuming he has access to TV/internet, I can easily see him getting off on the attention being placed on his case in that sort of "that'll show'm" teenage smugness.  A bit of a long shot, true, but it's something I think worth considering.  Much more plausible than the video game scapegoat crap.

I'm not surprised in the least that some idiots are finger pointing video games.  Disappointed, yes, but we all knew it was going to happen.

 

Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

Re: Magazine Profile of Missing Gamer Focuses on Game Addiction

But what confounds everyone involved in this case, from the police to his parents, is that beyond his devotion to Call of Duty, he showed no outward signs of trouble.

Oh really?  That's not what his father said:

"The boy started skipping school, stealing money and ignoring his studies, his father said."

To be fair, Brandon's father implies that the truancy, stealing, and not doing his homework was prompted by his excessive CoD4 play.

 

Andrew Eisen

Edit: I haven't read the entire article yet.  No time right now but I'll do so later this afternoon.

Re: Magazine Profile of Missing Gamer Focuses on Game Addiction

Hmm...Well if that is the case why were the parents letting him play the game excessively in the first place. You have to set some limits on this. The xbox has a timer now. Set it and once its turned off the boy should be doing something else.

Re: Magazine Profile of Missing Gamer Focuses on Game Addiction

*facepalm*

Re: Magazine Profile of Missing Gamer Focuses on Game Addiction

Mine's bigger. ROFL Just playing.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: Magazine Profile of Missing Gamer Focuses on Game Addiction

 

I win!

 

 

*FACEPALM*

Sortableturnip's Law: As an online discussion of video game violence grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Jack Thompson approaches 1

Re: Magazine Profile of Missing Gamer Focuses on Game Addiction

Ah, a fancy facepalm with serifed font. Well played.

Re: Magazine Profile of Missing Gamer Focuses on Game Addiction

Argh just you guys wait, when i find a font bigger thans yours lol

Lol epic legendary right there. 

Re: Magazine Profile of Missing Gamer Focuses on Game Addiction

*facepalm*


------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

-----------------------------



"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: Magazine Profile of Missing Gamer Focuses on Game Addiction

Brandon's Xbox 360 is] still being analyzed a little further, but at this point we have no reason to believe there is any connection to date between the Xbox and his disappearance.

 

Well done. 23 days after the fact, let's start looking for a real solution. Truly a bang up job.

Re: Magazine Profile of Missing Gamer Focuses on Game Addiction

Brandon had a fight with his parents about his gaming habits. If he'd had a fight about listening to rap on his iPod would they be blaming the music industry? I know he's too young, but hypothetically if they'd taken away his privilege to drive the family car would they blame the auto industry? Parents and children fight, and sometimes they run away as a result. Doesn't seem to me that it's the fault of whatever caused the fight, it's the fault of the fight. But we wouldn't want to blame poor parenting, would we?

Re: Magazine Profile of Missing Gamer Focuses on Game Addiction

Not necessarily the parents' fault. The kid could just be a dumbshit.

And before you pull they "they let him run away" card, parents have been doing it for YEARS. In fact, my GRANDPARENTS did it to my parents when they reached their 'rebellious youth' stage. This time it just went tragically awry because the kid either happened upon an abduction or something, or the kid is a dumbshit who deserves to be smacked.

I'm not saying these are good parents, but I'd think twice about calling them bad ones, too, since we know nothing about them outside of what we've seen on the news and sites. We've been trying to shake off this ill-concieved notion of other people labelling us, let's not be the kettle calling the pot black.

Re: Magazine Profile of Missing Gamer Focuses on Game Addiction

If he was an addict, would he not go to a place where he could get his "fix"?

 
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