Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4 Multiplayer “a Sad Place”

The tragic death of Canadian teen Brandon Crisp was easily gaming’s saddest story of 2008.

In a sense, it was also one of the most frustrating stories for gamers as they watched their hobby maligned publicly, yet again. For several weeks in October and November, mainstream media reports fueled speculation that Brandon, a dedicated – perhaps even compulsive – Call of Duty 4 gamer, had been abducted by someone he met on Xbox Live.

Early on in the case there was even the highly improbable suggestion that Brandon had left home to join a professional gaming league. This was, perhaps, the modern equivalent of a 19th century child running away to join the circus.

Throughout the investigation and its aftermath, the notion that Brandon was addicted to Call of Duty 4 remained a constant theme. Not written about much, but just as likely, was the fact that Brandon was experiencing the same issues that plague many adolescents: difficulty in finding one’s place and conflicts with parents.

In the end, Brandon was found dead not far from home. A coroner ruled that he likely fell from a tree soon after running away.

Now that a bit of time has passed since Brandon’s death, Canadian journalist Jesse Brown takes a retrospective look at the case for his CBC Radio podcast. Unfortunately, what Brown ultimately serves up is a blanket condemnation of Call of Duty 4 multiplayer.

Brown, a non-gamer, spent time playing CoD4 and recording his impressions. In the end he was seemingly put off by the trash talk on Xbox Live. Hey, who isn’t, from time to time? But there are ways to deal with XBL jerks that don’t involve condemning the entire CoD4 experience, as Brown unfortunately does in his wrap-up:

Brandon Crisp played video games compulsively and Brandon Crisp died in the woods after falling from a tree. And those two things might not have anything at all to do with each other.

But as I played Call of Duty 4 late at night, crouching in a digital simulation of a snowy field and then collapsing in the leaves as a stranger somewhere in the world pushed a button and cursed in my ear, it was eerie to think that Brandon Crisp was here too, virtually killing and virtually dying thousands of times.


This world is a sad place and it’s awful that Brandon Crisp spent so much of his time here when he had so little to spend.

What Brown doesn’t get is that CoD4 may have become for Brandon a place where he could fit in, have fun and enjoy a sense of community and accomplishment.

GP: Thanks to GP reader Joseph M for the heads-up…

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  1. Shadow D. Darkman says:


    Turns out one of the girls I met was a futanari. 


    "The sun will always rise tomorrow. We can only live for today, and hope more days will come." -Unknown

  2. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Oh, look, the other Troll has appeared. Hi, Mr. Other Troll!


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

  3. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Ugh, I think we may need to get the admins involved here.


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

  4. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    He was talking to you, dumbass.


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

  5. hayabusa75 says:

    Right.  Perhaps that’s because you’re the only one who goes all googly-eyed and slobbery whenever someone with a female username appears.  They could be dudes for all you know.

    "There is no sin except stupidity." – Oscar Wilde

  6. DavCube says:

    Great, nothing to counter my points with, so now you’re just plain insulting me. Infantile insults at that. Thanks for fulfilling the fantasies of JT and basically being just like him. Thank you, and good riddance.

  7. zel says:

    I only counted 1 facepalm on here from turnip, i must have somehow missed the other one you’re referring to, where the hell are my meds?


    I am a signature virus, please copy and paste me into your signature to help me propagate.

  8. Derovius says:

     No, there are plenty of people who think you’re fucking useless as a commentator on this site, but are simply nicer than me. I have no problem standing at the forefront of your public embarassment.

  9. Derovius says:

     Yeah, he failed. Apparently posting a second facepalm somehow reinforces his lack luster performance with the first.

  10. Derovius says:

     No, the internet is fine, its douchebags like Shadow who ruin it. He is like that loser back in high school who tells the same joke EVERY FUCKING DAY because he has nothing else to work with.

  11. Derovius says:

     You know why people don’t respond to your gibberish? They are nice enough not to tell you to STFU. I happen not to be that nice. Do something original if you want to amuse me; posting the creative works of others to try and bolster your epeen is pathetic.

  12. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    That sarcasm?


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

  13. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    (Posted at maximum size for full effect. My apologies in advance, EZK.)



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

  14. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    There are no limits for Jack. True, I think this guys a fake pretending to be Strauss, but I would not be surprised if it turns out it is Jack.


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

  15. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Nah, I’m too used to people assuming such posts as me hitting on the girl. I do that to make sure they get the point.


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

  16. DavCube says:

    Hmmm… looking at the posts, i don’t know, this could go either way. If it were purely an anonymous joke account, it wouldn’t be so hard to differentiate from JT’s usual rants… he brings up his infamous ‘I made the T2 stock fall, not the global recession’ bullcrap again.

  17. DavCube says:

    Ooh, profanity, such a great little comeback. If you’re ten years old.

    You’re not contributing to the conversation, and where you’re not getting all up in people’s faces for being ’emo,’ you’re generally just attracting posts to yourself by posting against whatever the subject is. We don’t need attention whores like you on this site, or any other.

    It’s people like you that should actually take Jack Thompson’s advice about growing up and getting a life.

  18. DavCube says:

    Well what do you WANT him to do, rant like an immature idiot and make himself actually look MORE emo with his words? No. You’re looking at this in the wrong way. You’re the one being emo here making this out to be some gigantic thing wrong with the internet.

  19. TBoneTony says:

    The fact of life is that everyone has an opinion.

    Sadly we are just one of the few sub-cultures that are verbally and socially attacked by other people’s opinions all because they just don’t understand gamers like us.

    Sure the online gaming community may be as hostile but it is nothing like the school yard where bullies can physically kick and bash you.

    But sadly no one ever understands us.


    I think the journalist here had already made up their opinion and decided to bash videogames in the aftermath and reflection of this sad story.


  20. HarmlessBunny says:

    He failed? I thought he made his point rather clearly. He is frustrated and baffled at the stupidity at others. Hence the "facepalm". Quite an old expression that has been used quite often because of the mind numbing actions of others.

    Simply it appears our friend is frustrated, baffled, or dumbfounded by the stupidity of something in the article.

  21. MasterAssassin says:

    Sadly there are a lot of assholes online but to judge the whole community based on a few immature jerks is unfair. There are a lot of people who don’t use racial slurs or curse out thier opponents when they lose and there is a mute option for those who do.

  22. hayabusa75 says:

    I was going to go watch "Attack of the Wannabe Lawyer" on cable, but I see GP’s already showing the webcast.

    "There is no sin except stupidity." – Oscar Wilde

  23. hayabusa75 says:

    Don’t be too hard on the kid, maybe he’s just used to having to do that with women in real life.

    "There is no sin except stupidity." – Oscar Wilde

  24. hellfire7885 says:

    Why do you think he was so quick to sell off his supposed share?

    I think he knows what EA does to good companies, and it suited his vendetta perfectly.

  25. Mattie says:

    Someone who’s never grown up with video games can’t really judge an entire communtiy who has. They just don’t understand.

  26. ConstantNeophyte says:

    That you even have to qualify your comment like that is creepy.

    -ConstantNeophyte: always the newb, ALWAYS.

  27. ConstantNeophyte says:

    Best post in this thread. Not that it was hard with all the whingy bitches further up.

    -ConstantNeophyte: always the newb, ALWAYS.

  28. Erik says:

    Maybe you are Jack, maybe not.  But the point remains that not every game comparny wants to get sucked into the devouring malignant tumor known as EA.  So far far too many companies have been ruined by their influence.  Avoiding them at all costs was a smart move by T2.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  29. Leet Gamer Jargon says:

    Actually, he has. Numerous times before. In fact, he used a kiss emoticon a while back that was really creepy.

    I’m not sure which articles he used them in (because I’m too lazy to look), but if you want, you could go sifting through the past articles and see for yourself. But I know he has used them before.

    Game on, brothers and sisters.

  30. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Hey there Sarah! Haven’t seen you around lately! Good to have you back!

    (Not hitting, just welcoming back.)


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

  31. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    It seems pretty clear to me that regardless of if I’m emo for doing a FacePalm, Derovius will always be a Troll due to his reaction.

    And Zel’s right, Dero…




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


  32. Kincyr says:

    4. Thompson never uses the Shift key in his usernames, esp when he uses other people’s names

    岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

  33. finaleve says:

    Is that in the Game of the Year Edition or one of the map packs?  I do not recall a snowy level in multiplayer, let alone in single player.
    But a snowy level is always cool in my books.  I loved the feel of silence in a map like that…

    To be honest, I can see where he is coming from.  I was eased into the online scene thankfully.  Joined a fantastic clan back on SOCOM 2, and while I had extreme amounts of fun, there were some jerks would would jump in from time to time.  And one of the clan mates had the biggest mouth in the world and would curse everyone out…but you couldn’t not laugh at him.  Sometimes he’d come up with a coherant sentence but it was just nonsense and made coming back to play with him more fun.
    When a clan mate commited suicide and a few people outside of our clan knew, they would come in and make fun of him for doing just that.  We’d kick them out of our rooms or ban them, but they’d come back after we set-up a whole new room, and continue.

    You need to experience the gaming community before you can really call it a bad place.  It’s just like school, and you gotta find your place in the game (or the game that you like).

  34. sarahvait says:

    I don’t get how he can use his sessions of playing the game as a credible source for the experience that everyone else must be having all the time.  The people who trash talk aren’t really taken seriously anyway.  I mean, I remember when we got our first computer with windows on it and it had aol.  I got onto a chat room for the first time and was insulted and made fun of. 

    But I didn’t go and assume that aol chat rooms were a sad, mean place and never get in one again.  I tried again and found nice, interesting people to chat with and had a great time.  Sure, sometimes I would have bad experiences, but the moments were few and far. 

  35. zel says:

    Not nearly, since now you’re just making shit up. The medical form refers to diseases and symptoms, try again yourself.


    I am a signature virus, please copy and paste me into your signature to help me propagate.

  36. Derovius says:

     Such is the context I used it in, as this psychological state is indeed an aspect of his physiology. You fail, again. Do I need to continue to correct you or have you had enough?

  37. NovaBlack says:

    in all fairness i have NEVER seen JT use an emoticon before EVER.

    I dont think its him.


    Plus.. it doesnt sound like him


  38. NovaBlack says:

    guys im pretty sure this isnt JT

    He learned his lesson the hard way, hence his lack of posting recently.

    And this is a little too random and off topic even for JT.






  39. zel says:

    why hide it, the other one is medical in nature but i figured you’d be sooo smart you’d know that.

    since i was wrong about you, lemme serve it up

    1.  action that makes a problem or a disease (or its symptoms) worse; "the aggravation of her condition resulted from lack of care" [syn: aggravation


    I am a signature virus, please copy and paste me into your signature to help me propagate.

  40. zel says:

    Onn no, to be on par we’d have to dumb ourselves down a lot.

    2.  violent and bitter exasperation; "his foolishness was followed by an exacerbation of their quarrel"

    exacerbation is more of a violent or harsh expression, and you’re saying he was sighing in exacerbation.  Which is rather counterintuitive. also harsh and violent are hardly "emo", which is the point i was making and you failed to grasp.


    I am a signature virus, please copy and paste me into your signature to help me propagate.

  41. Derovius says:

     Why can’t I get someone atleast on par with me to argue with? I waste my time explaining things to these people.

    "[Latin exacerbre, exacerbt- : ex-, intensive pref.; see ex- + acerbre, to make harsh (from acerbus, harsh; see ak- in Indo-European roots).]"

     To make harsh, as in, to add emphasis to his emo outburst by making an auditory additional to said gesture. Christ on a cracker man, stop wasting my time.

  42. Zevorick says:

    Awwwwww, Someone needs a hug

    *gives a great big ole manhug and a pat on the back*

    There there… It’ll be alright.

  43. sortableturnip says:

    Just another poser in a long line of posers trying to get his jollies off by pretending to be the almighty internet troll himself…

  44. Erik says:

    You are getting far too EMO-tional over someone doing a facepalm.  Be less emo please.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  45. Noir-Okami says:

    I may agree about ‘only Jack Thompson would regret not listening to Jack Thompson,’ but this is getting beside the point.

    I don’t like the idea of blame the video games. Since when the crap is falling from a tree linked to gaming? (Haven’t played COD4.)

  46. zel says:

    Easy, facepalm is frustration, not sadness. and how the hell does ‘exacerbation’ fit in that sentence: to embitter the feelings of (a person); irritate; exasperate.

    man you’re just full of fail today.



    I am a signature virus, please copy and paste me into your signature to help me propagate.

  47. Derovius says:

    "If you’re going to keep doing this, you might just get into trouble with the admins. Because come on, this whole argument is just getting tired, yet you keep bringing it up like you’re trying to be clever or something."

     Oh shit, I might get in trouble you say? Golly geewiz I better stop huh? Whiny little bitch needs to take off her rose-tinted glasses.

  48. Derovius says:

     So do tell, how is this sad little fuck not emo when he expresses a disheartened tone towards the actions of others. Others who are ultimately unable to impact him in any significant way. Sounds pretty emo to me.

    "Oh dear, I’m saddened by this persons comment. All I can do is place my meaty appendage to my face and sigh in exacerbation. What shall I call this physical translation of appendage to face? Oh I know, my face is meeting my palm, so I’ll call it facepalm. Oh ho ho, I am so funny."

     Seriously, what a fucking annoyance. Just stop. STOP I SAY.

  49. zel says:

    Ya thats what i meant with my post, how the hell does /facepalm = emo? does he even know wtf emo refers to? emo=emotional, usually in a sad sense. hence if someone lets say, spilled their drink, and got all sad about it, you’d reply: "don’t be so emo". there is also a whole fashion style and music genre that uses the emo label to describe itself. Though i don’t blame him for confusing the meaning of emo since it has become such an ambiguous label, none-the-less the use of emo there was just way out in left field.

    that and lately he’s been trolling for the sake of trolling.


    I am a signature virus, please copy and paste me into your signature to help me propagate.

  50. hellfire7885 says:

    1. You are obviously Thompson as he doesn’t know what a reply button does.

    2. Only Jack Thompson would regret someone not listening to Jack Thompson

    3. You have never been able to resist making fun of Mr. Zelnick, you’re obviously addicted.

  51. strausszelnick says:

    No, it’s me, Strauss, huddled in my swank Gotham digs, wondering when my reputation will be tarnished irretrievably by blowing this one.

    I wish I had in fact listened to Jack Thompson.  Turns out he was right when he predicted the EA offer was too high.  Oh, well, he’s disbarred, and I’m not.  I’m very smart, you know.  Strauss 

  52. DavCube says:

    OK dude, seriously, enough with your ass-backwards use of the term ’emo.’ Since, for crying out loud, ‘facepalm’ is a MEME. It’s supposed to be humorous, light-hearted, a freaking JOKE. If you’re looking for emo, you’re barking up the wrong tree. I hear worse ’emo’ arguments for Sora from Kingdom Hearts than your half-assed excuses for posting a picture showing one’s disgust for what another person says.

    If you’re going to keep doing this, you might just get into trouble with the admins. Because come on, this whole argument is just getting tired, yet you keep bringing it up like you’re trying to be clever or something.

  53. strausszelnick says:

    I’m very sorry the boy died , but I have to disagree as to what is the saddest video game story of 2008.

    I think the most tragic tale is that I had a chance to sell Take-Two to EA for $27 per share, and I decided it was worth more than that.

    Now, today, Take-Two stock has crashed further to below $9 a share.  Now, that is a tragedy, because I look like an idiot.  Who would have thought that Take-Two would look back upon Paul Eibler as part of the "good old days."

    Maybe Take-Two can get a bailout.  Hey, there’s an idea.  I’ll ring up Barney Frank.  Ciao, Strauss Zelnick


  54. nightwng2000 says:

    Either I’m having trouble finding the "next page" link for the comments, my post there wasn’t approved, or they cut off adding comments early on.

    Either way, this is the comment I put up there:

    I, myself, have made many comments regarding the specific case of Brandon Crisp and the alleged attempt to scapegoat blame to XBL and COD4.  I’ve also made numerous comments regarding Parental Responsibility and the clear lack of it in this specific case.  As a regular poster at (as nightwng2000), I have plenty of rather blunt and brutal things to say in such regards so it’s best you look up my opinions there on that situation.

    On the issue of language and treatment in XBL, I’m reminded of AOL.  In the very early days, it’s was, for the most part, rather congenial.  Especially in the general public areas.  But, over the years, the public chats especially degenerated severely.  In any particular general public chat room, you’d see repetitive "age, sex check" lines, sometimes as many as 20 in a mere minute.  While forums and blogs and the like suffer trolls from time to time, chat rooms became far less popular.  Mostly because of lack of real time moderation.  The same is becoming true of the voice chat capabilities.

    While I’m DEFINITELY no prude, it does get boring.  Even sitting on the bus and hearing someone loudly talking with a curse word every other word in a 5 minute story is annoying.

    In addition, COD4 is the equivilant of a rated R war movie.  Try turning Platoon or Patton into rated G. 

    If you don’t have much interest or experience in online gaming, then your story is going to be like an Agnostic wanting to do a story on Christianity and choosing a hardcore Chrisitian church only about 2 steps down from Fred Phelp’s church.  You can’t get a proper realistic view of the whole community from a single experience.  Especially a single NEGATIVE experience.

    We should also note that socializing in online games like COD4, WoW, or even XBL Arcade Board games is STILL socializing.  Just as much as going to, playing a game, and chatting in the chat box or even getting together with a large number of people live for charades, Twister, or even Laser Tag.  It’s still socializing, whether online or offline.

    I also note that YOU didn’t socialize.  You hid.  Not actually socializing.  Are you anti-social?  🙂    Seriously, though, you didn’t participate.  So you didn’t get a thorough experience.

    If you don’t like, or are not interested in,  rap, you can’t exactly insert yourself into the rap community.

    If you don’t like, or are not interested in, the romance genre, you won’t understand people who DO like the romance genre.

    If you don’t like, or are not interested in, mountain climbing, you won’t understand the segment of the community that does.

    Move on with the things you like.  Give things you want to try out a REAL chance and either like them or move on. 

    Personally, I don’t EVER want to try escargot.  But that doesn’t mean that those folks who do are "bad" people.  Just insane.  🙂



    NW2K Software

    Nightwng2000 has also updated his MySpace page: Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as

  55. jccalhoun says:

    It is sad to hear Crisp’s father on there talk about his son and put so much emphasis on the videogame when, even from the few things he said, it is clear that videogames were a way for the boy to deal with issues rather than being an issue in and of itself. 

    As someone who researches videogame players I have to take issue with the depiction of them within this piece.  If someone who had never had any experience with playing basketball or with basketball culture were to do a similar piece it seems easy to imagine that it would come out just as negative.  After all, trash talking didn’t start with videogames and has long been an established part of sports such as basketball. 

    I also strongly disagree with the notion that people are someone different online.  The old cliche that "no one knows you are a dog online" is little more than just that: a cliche.  Are basketball players someone different on the court than off it?  Yes there is trash talk and yes there is a great deal of homophobic, racist, and sexist talk online but is that all there is?  Certainly there has to be more to the experience than that or people wouldn’t participate in it.  I’ve observed and interviewed numerous gamers and have yet to find someone who was totally different in a game and outside of it.  Certain aspects may be emphasized in game and other aspects emphasized out of the game but it isn’t some 21st century version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

    Finally, while some have mentioned the music, for me, the Brown’s tone was more melodramatic.  Compare his town throughout the piece with the tone in the tag at the end where he talks about how to contact him and the next show.  Yes the piece was about the tragic death of a person but there were entire sections where it was about Brown’s experiences playing and that somber tone seemed much more about conveying how bad playing this game was than it was about being respectful.


  56. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Who, me or him?


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

  57. gamegod25 says:

    Jeez fella overdramatic much? It’s a just freaking game, dumb***. And if you can’t take a few insults then how are you gonna make it through life?

    It sucks that the kid died but it also sucks that non gamers are still so damn ignorant.

  58. zel says:

    How is he being emo?

    more to the point, ohh look its a troll, hi troll!


    I am a signature virus, please copy and paste me into your signature to help me propagate.

  59. hellfire7885 says:

    If he had played any other game he would have had the same results.

    If he had palyed a single player only game, say Bioshock, the result MIGHT have been slightly different.

  60. nighstalker160 says:

    1. I want that map pack, love snow field maps. Don’t know why, just like the eerie whiteout conditions you get. Makes it pretty tense. Anybody know how this guy apparently unlocked a hidden map?

    2. Boo hoo someone cursed at you? Have you ever played ANY sport? People curse

    3. Hey, dude, maybe Brandon was good.

    4. Cut the melodrama "Symbollically killing and dying thousands of times." Well buddy, thousands of people play that game and so far we don’t have a rash of teen suicide because of it.

    I mean this is the most melodramatic, overblown piece of crap "journalism" I’ve ever read.

    The kid had issues,  no question. But stop trying to blame the damn game. It wasn’t responsible.

    There were myriad problems here, compulsive behavior, lack of supervision, lack of boundaries etc.

  61. Shadow D. Darkman says:


    Search your feelings, you know it’s right.


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

  62. Hevach says:

    His past defenses (which for the life of me I can’t find, though I found one other veiled jab) don’t change the matter of his current statements, which have been addressed aead. However, this part I want to address:

    "I also know that there are many smart, creative, social gamers out there playing many smart, creative, social games"

    This reminds me a lot of the entirely too common statement, "I know there are plenty of fine, honest, hardworking black people out there…" This is not a defense when you’ve made sweeping statements about blacks, it’s arguably racist on it’s own, but in context it’s nothing more than a parting cheap shot dressed up as an apology. I don’t see the same statement any differently when sweeping statements about the gaming community have been made.

  63. SimonBob says:

    Jesse Brown put up a response to several comments that echo the ones here — CBC doesn’t have permalinks available, but if you ctrl+F his name, you’ll find it.  I think this bit in particular ought to chasten a few of the knee-jerkers around here:

    "I’ve defended video games several times in the past from those who crusade against the. I still think video game "addiction" is a phony pathology. I also know that there are many smart, creative, social gamers out there playing many smart, creative, social games- and I think the doc reflects that."

    Fancy that, a radio presenter on a technology show who actually seems to know what he’s talking about.

    The Mammon Industry

  64. Neeneko says:

    In many ways online gaming culture in america is a subculture of the global net culture rather then a subculture within america, so it can be a double whammy for someone with a local-only perspective.

    The net has become a virtual country with it’s own ways of doing things ^_^

  65. DeepThorn says:

    I didn’t think about it from that point of view…  If I went to Africa, India, or some other country and saw some of the things they do. I would prolly think that they were fucked up too, but I understand that is part of their culture.  I guess online gaming has more of a culture than I realized…  Kind of weird when you think about it like that…  Same goes with nudist colonies, Amish, and so on.

    Nido Web Flash Tutorials AS2 and AS3 Tutorials for anyone interested.
    How to set Xbox 360 Parental Controls

  66. Neeneko says:

    This is a very sad piece to read, but predictable.  It would not be the first example of a ‘journalist’ from outside a community ‘investigating’ by joining for a day or two and then reporting (rather sensationally) about how horrible the community was.

    Not too long ago a BDSM community event near philly was similiarly explored with similiar results.

  67. gamegod25 says:

    Its the same with any of those so called "experts" on television. They’re all just ignorant, biased **** with an agenda.

  68. zel says:

    My thoughts exactly, you know the saying: opinions are like assholes, everyone’s got one and they stink.  Even with proof it’s still an opinion, that stinks :p


    I am a signature virus, please copy and paste me into your signature to help me propagate.

  69. Derovius says:

     In a world where the title "journalist" can be claimed by anyone, regardless of the integrety of their work, this persons comments are a non-issue. His opinion is that CoD 4 is a sad place; opinion being the crux of this discussion. Last I checked, opinions aren’t worth the paper they are written on without proof.

  70. ZacharyMiner says:

    Any new world can seem threatening or unfamiliar to someone from the outside, and I’m sure that effect is magnified when that world is even slightly stigmatized in the wider culture, and especially when the "investigation" is done as a followup to a tragic event. Had this reporter’s story been done before Brandon’s death, he might have highlighted some of the exciting elements of the game and downplayed the grim, depressing ones. It’s human nature, though – you find what you’re looking for. That doesn’t make it right, but it explains it.

    Besides, anyone who has played video games has "died" thousands of times with their characters. Does that make Mario or Sonic (or even CoD4) the next breeding ground for depressed t(w)eens? Probably not, unless they already were already in some other kind of negative situation.

  71. Benjamin_Snow says:

    And yet another journalist feasting on spiled blood.


    Hurray for biase journalism and hurray for summing up people as one group!

    "We may be human, but we’re still animals" -Steve Vai (World’s greatest guitarist!)

  72. Larington says:

    Of course, it would be better in my mind if trash talk were better discouraged from online play, purely because it makes it harder for folks to embrace a new entertainment medium.

    Doubly-so because these people are probably still learning said game and are therefor more likely to become a target of ‘noob’ comments and beyond.

  73. DeepThorn says:

    I highly doubt game addiction was even close to a part of this case.  There wasn’t even an off chance that he joined a gaming league, and those police officers should have their asses handed to them for not dealing with this case like a normal run away, instead they wasted time with crackpot theories…  ones that have happened when?  Maybe I missed the story when the kid ran away and joined a gaming clan or ran away to a 57 year old man who was going to take advantage of him.  If so, please provide the link, because I won’t believe it until I see it.

    So now we have some moron that doesn’t really get gaming trying to explain playing video games.  Yes, and lets have a similar idiot that know nothing about any field of science hang out with some people at NASA while they are planning a mission, and see how much they are able to follow, or better yet, since he was most likely bias from the start, a religious nutcase that thinks the world is 6000 years old be thrown in with a group of scientists doing research on evolution.

    From what it looks to me, he could have been listening to music and cutting himself off from his parents, or talking on a chat program online, or texting on a cell phone, or countless other things.  If Brandon was sunk into the Harry Potter books reading them over and over again his parents would prolly think very little of it, but since it was video games, oh no.  If they would have taken any of those things away though, if that was his escape, he would have ran away.  Where is the facts, research, or other information that even angles this story to game addiction at all?  or even compulsive playing?  Nothing that doesn’t point toward depression too from what I have seen.

    Sometimes when people are depressed they have problems sleeping, and when you have problems sleeping for many nights,  you get sick of it and just decide to do something to waste some energy before going back to bed.  Heck, a lot of things could have caused a problems trying to sleep.  For me, it was a huge change in activity from working out 6 hours a day 6 days a week to not working out hardly at all.  I got sick of playing video games when I couldnt sleep at one point in time, and started working on different projects, then started researching physics, then mythology, then different religions, then…  Heck, I went to to watch lectures to come up with more things to research because of going through so much stuff I ran out of things to come up with to learn about. (I think I have an addiction to learning, so..?)

    I would just like to see more research done in this world before people write stories like that.  Ask a gamers what it is they see, go in depth with the gamer.  (Hell all ask and answer some questions…)

    Do you see a puppet like character, or a person you are shooting?
    Definitely more so puppets, and with certain games like Gears of War, I focus more on where the hit boxes are for head shots and other critical actions that can kill people, unless I am having a bad day playing, then I smoke tag people and dont care if they kill me, because I am getting too unlucky.  Games that are less picky about shots, I will aim at the head or heart, but still it is a puppet not a person.

    If you had a new shooter game, would you try shooting an animal like a chicken or not?
    I would shoot it, maybe there is a hidden feature because of shooting it, same with random barrels and other objects in the game.  They may have some fun little thing where you can aim a shot right and launch it over a creek, or some sort of mini game or achievement.

    How do you feel about idiots on XBL that curse and act like jerks?
    They are stupid and annoying, that is why you can take off the headphones, turn down the sound, and other things in games. Sometimes when they are getting out of hand being a jerk to someone, it is interesting to ask them about their father who may have abused them or have left their mother right when he found out that she was pregnant.  It is cruel, but when people just get out of hand, sometimes you have to jab right into areas it sounds like they are probably trying to overcompensate for.

    What is the longest time you have played a video game in a day, and what game?
    For any 24 hour span, probably 20 hours at most, could have been Gran Turismo, one of the Final Fantasy games, or who knows what.  I have came close to that number a couple of times, even with Sim Tower once when I was playing around with some of the code hacks you could do to the game.  I flat out can’t play a shooter for longer than a few hours because it just cant captivate me, unless I am playing story mode, but even then I get sick of it after a 6-8 hours if I even bother getting that far into it.

    Have you ever been addicted to a video game?
    No, but I did play EverQuest a lot after high school since I went from having things planned out for 15 hours of my day, to only 3-6 hours of my day.  So I needed something to fill that time, and video games did that for a while until I picked up other activities.

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  74. Geoff says:

    Not surprised, coming from a non-gamer. 

    Yes the world is a big place with a lot to offer…but when you’re a teenager you find yourself in a strange spot.  You’ve outgrown the desire to just sit around and play in the dirt (well, you can still do that but people look at you weird) but at the same time you’re too young to go out and do much either because you’re under the age limit for certain establishments, lack a vehicle to get to places that are fun, and/or lack money.  I hear a lot of adults, after seeing a group of teenagers just hanging out in a parking lot or wandering the streets, ask "Why are those kids just walking/standing around like that?"  It’s because they’re bored and have nothing else to do.  They could go to one of their houses and watch movies or play video games but then they get sh*t for "being lazy".  So yeah, world’s a nice big place but a lot of options are not offered to teenagers.

    And if you’re a teenager with little to no friends, it’s even worse.  At least when you have a group of friends you can all be bored together.  An expansive world just feels empty when you feel alone.

    I suggest people go check out a documentary called "DarkOn".  It’s about a group of LARPers in Maryland I think.  While I personally don’t get LARPing ("Imagine the grass is red" – "Ooooohh, we’re on Mars!") if the people involved find it fun more power to them.  Anyway they interview a few teenagers/young adults and you find that most of them are socially inept or marginalized by their peers.  When they go LARPing they get a sense of community and social interaction that they normally don’t get at home/in school.  I see some similarities with the Crisp situation.

    The constant playing of CoD4 was not the cause of his social issues, it was a symptom of it.  But far be it for any journalist these days to do his or her job.

    Meh, it’s too early for me to go on.  You guys get the point. 


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