CBC To Air Investigative Report into Brandon Crisp Case Tonight

If preliminary reports are any indication, video games are in for a media beatdown on Canadian TV network CBC tonight.

News program the fifth estate will air an investigative piece on the tragic Brandon Crisp case at 9 P.M. Eastern. GamePolitics readers may recall that 15-year-old Brandon ran away from home following an October, 2008 dispute in which his parents confiscated his Xbox 360.

Brandon was an avid – his parents say addicted – Call of Duty 4 player and the early days of the investigation focused on the theories that he had either run away to join a professional gaming league or been abducted by someone he met on Xbox Live. In the end it turned out that Brandon had fallen from a tree not long after leaving home and died from injuries received in the fall.

The Globe and Mail previews the program:

Some kids get hooked on Guitar Hero, but the vast majority of gamers today spend more money — and time — on shockingly graphic search-and-destroy video games. Turning every violent teen male fantasy into reality, these games have a simple primal theme: kill, and kill again. And then keep killing…

"As a parent, I was shocked by how little I knew about this world," says [reporter Gillian Findlay]. "The violence of these games is so real and beauty of the graphics is almost overwhelming. You can see how seductive these games can be to teenage players…"

In an exclusive interview with Brandon’s parents, taped between the time of his disappearance and the discovery of his body, the extent of their son’s video-game obsession is revealed.

We’re dismayed at what sounds like a cheap media manipulation:

MLG also operates big-ticket tournaments… Findlay sits down with the members of a Canadian team of professional gamers…


"When we talked to them, we had large monitors playing video-game footage as background, and you could see it: They couldn’t take their eyes off the screens," says Findlay.

Did the reporter really conduct this interview in front of large monitors and then blame some kind of video game effect for the subjects’ eyes wandering? Would it have been any different if a hockey game or House was running on those monitors? Maybe that’s why most reporters don’t conduct interviews with their subjects facing TV screens. They’re, you know, distracting

For those who don’t get CBC, the episode will be available on the web at 10 p.m.

Looking for background on the case? GamePolitics covered Brandon’s disappearance in great detail. Click here for all of our reports on the case.

GP: Thanks to numerous readers who alerted us to this story…

UPDATE: Steve Tilley, who covers video games for the Toronto Sun, has previewed the show and weighs in with his take:

There’s a journalistic responsibility to become as informed as possible on a subject before speaking on it with authority, and [reporter Gillian] Findlay clearly has not.

I’m not talking about forgivable oversimplifications, but rather a glib, faux-concerned approach that treats teenaged gamers like slack-jawed addicts obsessed with virtual mass murder. It’s demeaning not only to the majority of gamers for whom this is harmless recreation, but to the non-gaming viewing audience who might not know better…

It’s lazy, cheap and disappointingly one-sided.


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  1. insanejedi says:

    Well a bit, but I just call that bad journalism. Most "journalist" just report on news and not really uncover anything. Real journalism involves uncovering dirty trades, regulations, and corruption in the world. It’s generally really hard to keep a balanced ubiased view of the subject though, so most of the time you get a partiality of some viewpoint.

  2. gamadaya says:

    I would love to be a hypocrite like Cooper Lawrence. Getting to say whatever you want without worrying about the consequences and then having everyone forgive you sounds like a great gig.


    Internet troll > internet paladin

  3. Chamale says:

    Very good points. I also take issue with calling CoD 4 a "search-and-destroy" game. On most, probably all, maps, one can wait for the enemy to come to them.


    This is a signature virus. Please copy and paste into your signature to help it propagate.

  4. Untouchable says:

    We must seek vengeance on trees. It’s only a matter of time before they strike agaisnt all of us like in The Happening.

  5. vellocet says:

    Here’s the Fifth Estate website… you can "contact them" at the top.


    However, I would emplore everyone to watch it before commenting.  We wouldn’t want to be hypocrites like Cooper Lawrence, would we?


  6. gamadaya says:

    Yeah because it totally would have made sense if they started a charity to help underpriveliged children buy copies of CoD4.


    Internet troll > internet paladin

  7. Neeneko says:

    Heh.  That line did strike me as kinda odd…. I wonder if these guys can’t tell fantasy from reality since a game is, well, more fantasy.

  8. Doom90885 says:

    I wonder if this little punk would have ran away and died after his parents told him to clean his room would there be a huge outcry against making kids do daily chores? According to this interview the answer is YES. Well there goes the validity of CBS’s arguement!

  9. Andrew Eisen says:

    Brandon fell out of a tree.  It still baffels me that anyone could blame his death on the reason he walked out the door.


    Andrew Eisen

  10. Sai says:

    Yeah… so are war games as shockingly violent as say, any WW2 movie you’ve ever seen? Since when was killing Nazis and terrorists as a soldier considered a bad thing?

  11. finaleve says:

    I’m sorry, but when you go to a place where they play anything competitively, they will always be distracted.  Interview a baseball player while a game is going on WHILE on the bench and they’ll be distracted just as much as the next guy.

    Search and Destroy Video Games?  Thats a new one.  You can swing it any way you want, it’s always going to come up the same way.  Bullshit.

    I’m not a fan of House but I know i’d be distracted.  Hell, I’m always distracted when I walk past a TV thats on.  Sometimes those commercials can be funny…


    I’ll see how they try and spit this story out, but I know its going to be too much to clog a toilet.

  12. Soga says:

    Wait, so you think real journalism involves pulling strings of fallacy after fallacy out of you-know-where?

    I didn’t know real journalism was about editing footage to get out-of-context quotes.

  13. gamadaya says:

    I thought we had heard the end of this when the parents said that they didn’t blame videogames. Jeez, this really never ends. And the sad part is that none of these networks actually care one bit about the topic. They just go after what will get them ratings.


    Internet troll > internet paladin

  14. Mech says:

    CBC is, and has been for a long time, a completely garabge network. They wonder why they are in financial trouble when they use the EXACT SAME crap producers and narrators for every single fucking commerical on the station. Not to mention most of the shows they produce are garbage with D-list actors. Then for the one thing they are strong at, news reporting, they still manage to fuck up by doing stuff like this. It’s amazing they still exist.

  15. Abel Flint says:

    Here’s the Toronto Sun’s preview of The Fifth Estate’s report, which they call "lazy, cheap and disappointingly one-sided":


    An excerpt:

    Where tonight’s The Fifth Estate succeeds is in exploring why Brandon Crisp might have become so addicted to Call Of Duty 4. A smart kid with a drive to succeed in all things, he was too small to do well in his beloved hockey. Video games became his substitute for sports, something he could excel at competitively, albeit to the detriment of a normal life away from his Xbox.

    Where it fails is by laying an unreasonable amount of blame at the feet of the video games industry, the games rating board and the professional gaming leagues and sponsors that offer cash prizes to the tiny percentage of gamers with the skill to get paid to play.

    "What happens," Findlay intones gravely, "when all that marketing might reaches into our children’s bedrooms, hands them a sniper rifle and an assassin’s mission, and promises fame, not to mention fortune, to those who kill their way to the top?"

    Meanwhile, parents — the ultimate arbiters of what entertainment is allowed in the home — get off virtually scot-free, despite blithely ignoring game ratings (and common sense) by buying violent, mature-themed titles for their kids to play.

  16. downtime58 says:

    "As a parent, I was shocked by how little I knew about this world…"

    Which is exactly the reason you probably shouldn’t be covering this topic – how can you not be biased against something you have little knowledge of, apart from rampant sensationalism?

    Some of the things that bother me most about this upcoming piece are:

    a) Who bought him the game? He clearly couldn’t do that on his own. Who likely bought him the Xbox and supplied him with a TV? What frustrates me most is how easily it is for blame to be laid on the faintest of sources (games themselves or worse the evil major gaming league) and not the direct sources, the parents.

    b) As has been stated, thousands of teenage kids run away every day because things don’t go their way, whether they are grounded, banned from TV or a cell phone. Yes, this story is tragic, but had Brandon returned the next day unharmed, this wouldn’t be newsworthy at all. The tragedy had nothing to do specifically with games, just an argument and an unfortunate mishap. Why aren’t they doing an article on the evil affects of teenagers talking on cell phones and how many run away when they lose cell phone privelages?

    c) I wasn’t aware that I’m playing video games because the major league of gaming fuels my desire with the lure of prizes and money. I thought it was something I like to do in my spare time. That’s like saying, people watch TV because of the lure of money and prizes on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire – or even better that I play hockey recreationally because of the lure of fame and money to be found in the NHL – I thought I just liked playing hockey.

    Not only is this a hatchet job, but the arguments it makes are patently illogical from even an outsider’s point of view.

  17. hellfire7885 says:

    Now that I think about it, the temr "investigative report" is misleading. They clearly didn’t investigate anything.

  18. Anthrax says:

    "And they said, when their son played those xbox murder simulator video reality games, little devil horns could be seen coming out of his head, like the xbox game was controlling him, and twisting his morals, and making him into a bad person."


  19. Asahi says:

     I usually expect better from the CBC, but if there’s ratings to be had, the sensationalist aspects always seem to get drummed up. 

    Shame on you CBC. 

  20. hellfire7885 says:

    "Turning every violent teen male fantasy into reality,"

    The game characters on screen are NOT capable of leaping into the real wordl and itneracting with you ,thus fantasy remains fantasy.


    "these games have a simple primal theme: kill, and kill again. And then keep killing…"

    If that was the entire point then the concepts of heatl meters/bars and characters being ableto die would never be a part of the game. FYI, yes, there are health meters/bars and yes the character you play as can die. Also, games do have a story i nthere, the violence is usually a party of the story/survival of the main character.


    I love these people. Through them the consoles somehow gainn ew tehcnology that doesn’t exist yet and parts of the game get added or taken out without the developer’s knowing/permission

  21. HurricaneJesus says:

    This is fucking disgusting bullshit.


    Saying that the only theme is ‘kill, and kill again" is idiotic. Teamwork plays a huge role in these games, as well as strategy. It isn’t like you are executing helpless tied up innocent people. You are involved in a simulated war, against enemies that want you dead. There is more to it then ‘kill, and kill again’. In fact, in many gametypes, kills don’t even matter, and instead you have some sort of objective, like King of the Hill, or Capture the Flag. Being sneaky and using your head is the better path to victory in these modes. Going for kills is pointless.


    They also stereotype these games as being a ‘male fantasy’. Way to generalize a gender, you fucking idiots.


    It is sad that my home country is getting in on this bullshit. Pisses me off. Almost enough to KILL!!!!




    Edit: The gamers watching the screens just shows that gamers are better able to multitask. They can focus on an interview, and a strategic game. They are able to take in stimulis from multiple sources without becoming befuddled.

  22. insanejedi says:

    there not all bad though, what I like about those programs is they are doing real journalism for a change and not just reporting for better or for worse. Some episodes of Marketplace I like such as the one with the Heart and Stroke Foundations health check, or the caloric values in some dine in resturants compared to fast food chains. Not everything they say is fallacy, but you have to decern which is fact and which is spin.

  23. Kajex says:

    "As a parent, I was shocked by how little I knew about this world,"

    That right there indicates a lack of parental presence and involvement. Kids aren’t running from home or hating their parents because of video games- they’re hating them because they’re not paying enough fucking attention.

    "I ran away and cycled my bike across town one day when I was much younger"

    Shoot, I was 18 and I drove from my parents to a public park, just because I wanted to get away from them for a few hours- I was angry with them, too. Alot of kids do the same thing- this one just happened to climb up a tree while playing and broke his neck when he fell.

    "When we talked to them, we had large monitors playing video-game footage as background, and y–"

    That’s it, show’s over, T.V. off, this more or less proves it. This is like that episode of the Simpsons where they paint Homer as a sexual predator, only in this case, they didn’t have to edit. Much. What self-respecting news reporter sets the stage so that it fits his scaremongering that much more? These people should be flooded with complaints for forcing a news segment with obvious media tricks. This MIGHT have worked 20 years ago, but MOST of us know better.

  24. Parallax Abstraction says:

    Yep, The Fifth Estate and Marketplace are notorious for pushing a particular point of view and not being at all objective or displaying journalistic integrity.  A while ago, Marketplace was doing a expose on on-site computer companies, they slammed the company I was working for at the time.  They did a "sting" operation with one of our technicians and blatantly edited the footage to make him (and I suspect others) far less knowledgable than they were.  The sting also consisted of a problem that they claimed any skilled technician should have been able to diagnose in seconds but which was in fact a very difficult problem that it would have taken even me a while to figure out and I’ve been doing that kind of work professionally for 11 years.  These shows are designed to be sensationalistic and to stir up fear and anger.  They are not to be trusted.  I guarantee you this Fifth Estate piece will put the blame squarely on gaming and not the fact that Brandon was a troubled kid with a discipline problem.

    Parallax Abstraction
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

  25. KayleL says:

    I find it extremely odd how they are pointing out how focus professional gamers are. Well, they are professionals, if they are not glued onto the screen, then there is something extremely wrong.

    As others say, if you play video games, even kids could tell the difference. It’s not that realistic.

  26. PHX Corp says:

    This is one of the reasons that CBC Should be privatized

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

  27. OmegaWarrior says:

    Does anyone else think that the events around this kids death are highly suspicious?  Brandon died falling out of a tree?  His parents want to start up a charity in his name to help underpriveliged childern…play sports?  If Brandon spent "all of his time" playing CoD4, then why sports?  It’s almost as if these parents were afraid that their son was gay because he didn’t play sports and spent all his time playing video games.  That supposed "argument" that happenned the night he ran away…what was it really about?

  28. Shoehorn Oplenty says:

    From their little blurb on the site about it:

    "His disappearance, and death, became a national news story as it revealed a dark side to what many thought was a harmless entertainment."

    What dark side? The kid ran away because he did not get his own way. This has probably happened to 1000’s of kids. I ran away and cycled my bike across town one day when I was much younger because of a fight with my parents when they took my sisters side in an argument. The exact same thing this kid did, the only difference is, I didn’t fall out of a tree and die while I was gone. If I had done, would there have been a massive news expose on sibling fighting and it’s "dark side"?

    "Findlay investigates how a video gaming obsession can turn to addiction and a pro gaming circuit with thousands of dollars in potential winnings, experts say, can fuel the need to play."

    Maybe Findlay should investigate trees, how climbing them is potentially appealing to kids, but which can be dangerous, experts say, due to the nature of gravity.

  29. insanejedi says:

    I don’t like the Fith Estate. CBC most of the time straddles the centralist line, but on occasion programs like Marketplace and the Fith Estate fly a left wing bias. I mean, the Fith Estate did a doccumentry on Hockey Fights and it was clearly shown the producers of that episode wanted hocky fights banned. And Marketplace just did one wanting Airsoft guns and BB guns regulated.

  30. Coach says:

    This is a vital story because no kid in history has every left his house after a fight with his parents until now.  Only interactive entertainment can cause this kind of behavior.

    It would appear that the sky is falling.


    +1 to infotainment

  31. sheppy says:

    Has to be said…

    "Turning every violent teen male fantasy into reality"

    -It’s not a reality… it’s a fucking video game.  It’s an image on the screen.  What is the difference between this or Nightmare on Elm Street, another "popular teenage male violent fantasy?"

    "When we talked to them, we had large monitors playing video-game footage as background, and you could see it: They couldn’t take their eyes off the screens," says Findlay.

    -They are competing, in competition.  You see the exact same behavior from Olympic Competitors if they are being interviewed as someone else is performing.  Those screens are not still images.  Those screens are the gameplay tactics and techniques those people will be facing soon.  Not watching these battles is a mistake.



  32. DeusPayne says:

    What will they report on next? The game link in the V-tech shooting? Or the manhunt fueled murder… victim? Joy…

  33. Krono says:

    "…Turning every violent teen male fantasy into reality…"

    Riiiight. Let me know when video game controllers have the same kick to the shoulders as a shotgun, and then I’ll actually try to keep a straight face instead of laughing in yours.

    "When we talked to them, we had large monitors playing video-game footage as background, and you could see it: They couldn’t take their eyes off the screens," says Findlay.

    Yes because your face, and what you’re saying is so much more attention grabbing than LARGE MONITORS playing footage of something they’re interested in.


  34. DeepThorn says:

    People need to learn what addiction is, what cause and affect is, that game addiction is affect not cause (except maybe MMOs due to the social part of it), and they should not talk about subjects until they actually have scientific proof of what they are talking about when it has been out in the public this long as a topic.  They are just sensationalizing this crap to up their ratings when they know they are telling lies or do not care about the truth to begin with.

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

  35. SS says:

    i think they’re talking about hardcore search and destroy.

    there were many parts that made me lol.

    I love how they made hardcore search sound so dangerous and "extreme".  it was so funny.

    They made cod 4 seem like the ancient roman gladitorial battles.  I also loved how they blamded the MLG Ceo for letting under-17s play through their site.

    As a whole, the program a pile of steaming hot bollocks.

  36. SS says:

    i think they’re talking about hardcore search and destroy.

    there were many parts that made me lol.

    I love how they made hardcore search sound so dangerous and "extreme".  it was so funny.

    They made cod 4 seem like the ancient roman gladitorial battles.  I also loved how they blamded the MLG Ceo for letting under-17s play through their site.

    As a whole, the program a pile of steaming hot bollocks.

  37. PHX Corp says:

    CBC is, was and awalys will be a piece of S***, not watching it after the bad behaviour from the CBC people

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

  38. LegendaryGamer00 says:

    Not sure if anyone else has done this already(So… many… comments… must… have… AIR…) but here is the link to the comments:



    I am seriously… I can’t even think of the right word to say…. it’s sheer stupidity at it’s finest in the so called "Report"(Can you really even call it that?)… all I heard was a misinformed idiot preaching Anti-Video Game propaganda along with… And there were so many… fallacies(I’m pretty sure I spelled it wrong) with what was shown on-screen and what they were talking about… it gives me a headache just thinking about it… I could go on all day ranting about it on GP but I’ll just say this:


    Did the parents ever actually sit down and play the game? EVER? Just turn on the 360 and play the Campaign or hop online? Because from the looks of it they never even touched the controller(Other than to take the 360 away).


    They treated it like it was some unknown alien artifact that just kept him busy.


    And here is also a direct link to the video(For the people that are to lazy to do it through the GP link, this one takes you directly to the video)


  39. PHX Corp says:

    One person in the comments section Called the game companies funding terrorists(What a Dumbbell for that person, that is a lie, Radical musilms hate video games because it’s is against Sharia law (see GP articles reguarding Islamic stupidity))

    Anyone trying to outlaw Video games is stupid and making the crime rate raise to beyond 100%(Combine that with the drug war in mexico and we got a Extremley big Mess)

    I think we should let Brandon crisp and daniel petric go in peace, everyone

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

  40. KayleL says:

    Oh, I remember that part. She said there was no warning about Mature games, which it does, and clears says infront of the box in big huge writing. The industry person said that, then Fifth Estate said that there is no way to tell want kind of content is in it, it doesn’t say if it has blood or gore. Well, yes it does, in the back, with fairly huge writing, and much, much more prodominate then the movie ratings. They cut off and not allow the industry person to respond.

  41. Razor210 says:

    What was the name of his clan on Gamebattles again?  The one with no matches played?


  42. Austin_Lewis says:

    Offensively stupid through and through, and some of the comments smack of the same blind willingness to buy into bullshit that has plagued society for the last few years.

  43. NovaBlack says:

    y’know what pissed me off most is when they said.. ‘we’d often go into his room at night and find him playing at 3 am – we didntknow what to do!’



  44. TK n Happy Ness says:

    I basically yelled out "There is a rating on the box, and the descriptors are on the back". Some of these people need to have their ass kicked. As for Brandon’s parents blaming themselves for getting the 360, the only thing they can blame themselves on is getting an M rated game like Call of Duty 4 for a 15 year old, and basically encouraging to play online by getting him an XBox Live account.

    When Jack Thompson runs his mouth, does anyone really care what he has to say anymore?

  45. NovaBlack says:

    WTF seriously…


    apparently ‘It took time skill and practice’ but they ‘received army training from a ‘kindly cyber mentor” (in game story cut scene with an scripted AI talking… nothing to do with ‘training’) 

    and soon brandon crisp was ’emerging as a star’ getting ‘6 or 7 kills per round’… (wtf.. star with.. what? you dont automatically play in tournaments.. and 6 or 7 kills per round.. ‘a star’ .. wtf?


    all i cant say.. again.. WTF.

  46. NovaBlack says:

    ”And the most frustrating part was when she was talking to a game industry representative who told her that most M rated games sold to minors were bought by parents, and the reporter said "well, there’s no warning label on the box telling me that there is content in the game I don’t want my children to see".  And then just totally ignored the woman when she told her the rating and content descriptors were right on the front of the box.”



    i cant stand things like that. My god.. all she had to do for ‘research’ was google ‘ video game content awareness’ or ‘ how do i know a game is suitable’ and she’d know about game ratings.

    N you knw what else she could do? Even if ratings DIDNT exist… is she incapable of playing the game herself first before giving it to a kid? Hell most games you can see what the level of violence etc is going to be like in 1 minute playing. No excuse for her not doing that. NONE AT ALL.

  47. Berg says:

    Oh, good to know.  Couldn’t find anything searching online.

    It’s a voluntary rating system though, so I assumed the government babysitting wouldn’t be needed.


    Hopefully the guy who runs the CBC boards is a gamer and all our comments make it through the censor.

  48. Eo Nomine says:

    Berg said:

    "She said at one point that game ratings were enforced by law in Ontario, which is false."

    Actually, that’s true. Under the Ontario Film Classification Act and associated Regulations, retailers are prohibited from selling M-rated games to anyone under the age of 17 or AO-rated games to anyone under the age of 18. 

  49. Berg says:

    I watched the first half of it before getting frustrated and just watching a movie.

    She said at one point that game ratings were enforced by law in Ontario, which is false.

    She also said that Call of Duty was what was refered to as an "FPS" in gaming circles, but then immediately called it a role playing game.

    And she had some moron on there who was apparently a recovered "gaming addict", and this guy seemed like a total psycho.  "I get mad when I shoot them and they don’t die.  When I shoot them in the head it feels good".

    And the most frustrating part was when she was talking to a game industry representative who told her that most M rated games sold to minors were bought by parents, and the reporter said "well, there’s no warning label on the box telling me that there is content in the game I don’t want my children to see".  And then just totally ignored the woman when she told her the rating and content descriptors were right on the front of the box.

    That really bothers me because games have the rating posted much more clearly than a movie does, plus they have content descriptors that allow you to get a sense of how far a game gets into teen type content or mature type content, but the way she talked about game labeling you could just tell she had never looked over a video game cover in her life but she still felt she had good reason to criticize the labeling on national TV.

  50. gamadaya says:

    I just watched it, and what pissed me off the most were the gamers who went on the show. They should know that they’re only providing ammo for these kinds of people. Also, when asked if he considered himself an athlete, a pro gamer they had on said he did. That really brought my piss to a boil. It’s not that I think pro gaming should be considered any less prestegious than professional sports or competions, but it shouldn’t be considered a sport, and its participants shouldn’t be considered athletes. Frankly, that seems like it would be insulting to athletes and patronizing to gamers.


    Internet troll > internet paladin

  51. KayleL says:

    I watched the show at 8EST (time shifting) and it was very one sided. I find it funny how they described Halo as a game of robots killing each other. They interviewed some random kids at a MLG event, and Fifth Estate said they came for the lastest video games as if it’s E3, even though it was only Halo 3.

    Where I had the most fun was how they tried to block team logos in the MLG videos, I could still tell what teams they are such as Str8 Rippin and Carbon.

  52. gamadaya says:

    Oh hey, they also did a report on the dangers of online virtual worlds recently. I might check that out later, but I’m more interested in the Crisp thing.

    And here’s how I know they’re full of shit. They did a report about a guy who killed 4 Mounties, but everyone knows that no mortal weapon can kill a Mounty.


    Internet troll > internet paladin

  53. eswat says:

    Not as bad as I thought. But they completely missed the investigative in Investigative Journalism.

    Skip their show comment form, they will just filter/edit the messages. Tweet your mind @DocsCBC instead.

  54. gamadaya says:

    Hey, why isn’t this up on there site yet? It’s almost 11.

    And why are they called The Fifth Estate? How many branches of government do you Canadians have?


    Internet troll > internet paladin

  55. PHOENIXZERO says:

    I’m surprised anyone expected balance from these hacks. Then again I know many didn’t see the hatchet job they did with the Benoit story back in 2007.

  56. Hackangel says:

    Completely agree with Steve Tilley. I sent this comment along:


    I am quite shocked by this evening’s episode. I expected a more balanced view on this issue. I am quite disappointed with this evening show. I thought Canadian reporting would be more responsible. For example, when the rating labels are talked about, it seems to be strongly suggested that game boxes doesnt do a good job of warning parents. The reality is, the warning label is very clear and the content descriptors on the back of the box clearly explains why the game is rated the way it is.

    Furthermore, if the goal of the is to "warn" parents rather than sensationalize the issue, why is parental controls, available on every major console today, not even mentionned once?

    Will somebody take responsability for this biased and sensationalist reporting? There was plenty of people who could have given you a balanced view on the issue. There is so much I could write. I hope somone can restore my faith in the Fifth Estate by answering this comment at the very least because I doubt a more balanced view will ever be reported".

    I am terribly terribly disappointed with this evening’s show. The Fifth Estate has become the canadian Fox News in my mind.

  57. jb_moskow says:

    Wow I was expecting it to be bad, but it was EVEN WORSE than I imagined. At one point the reporter thought that the storyline of the Halo series of videogames was about "killing robots in the future" to paraphrase. Killing robots?!? Now what kind of "investigative" journalism is this? I call upon all Canadians to inform the CBC about the crap journalism on their channel.


  58. Vortex says:

    I saw the commercial for that episode and after seeing that, I knew it was going to be Anti-Gaming propaganda, but I never thought it would be THIS bad.

    …and to think us Canadians are more innocent in video game issues compared to the UK and the US. The Fifth Estate is pretty much Canada’s answer to America’s Fox News or Britain’s The Daily Mail.

    My family watches CTV anyway, so take that CBC!

  59. SimonBob says:

    9:15 — "Brandon Crisp was pulled from hockey by his dad, then found video games."
    9:45 — "Brandon Crisp loved hockey until video games sucked him away."

    Pure hypocricy.

    The Mammon Industry

  60. jb_moskow says:

    I live in Toronto, Canada and will tune in tonight to watch this. The CBC is usually known for their one-sided reporting on issues like the Middle East and other supposedly ‘left-wing’ causes. This is unfortunate, and while it’s not all that bad, the sad thing is that the CBC is much like PBS in the states in that it runs off of viewer money. However in our case, the CBC is run solely off our tax dollars and therefore canadians have no real choice in the matter. I will post a reply with a rundown of what transpired during the show.

  61. Geryon says:

    Well never mind got the email bounced back, wouldn’t accept the address.  Tried a couple times then sent it to their tech support so they could be made aware of the issue and one to the general newsroom address instead.

  62. Geryon says:

    I sent off an email to the writer of the Globe and Mail article, so here is a copy of it so you guys can agree or rip me to shreds, either or.


    I found the article that you wrote for the Globe and Mail about the Fifth Estate’s coverage of Brandon Crisp was incredibly one sided.  He may well have become obsessed with the game, however it was rated M for mature, such games are designed for people of ages 17 and older.  Parents do not have to buy the game for their children, and while some kids may be able to purchase it anyway, the FTC has indications that it is currently harder to buy an M rated game if one is under the required age than it is to buy an R rated movie ticket or DVD or even an unrated DVD. [http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2008/05/secretshop.shtm]  As well to play the X-Box online, which is the primary purpose of games such as Call of Duty, an X-Box live account is required.  Brandon had access to an X-Box live account that was being payed for by his father. [http://www.gamertell.com/gaming/comment/runaway-call-of-duty-4-player-brandon-crisp-found-dead/]  His parents at least somewhat facilitated his playing of Call of Duty, which according to the ESRB rating he should not have been playing.  I am, however, by no means blaming the parents for Brandon’s death.  My point is simply that children will have arguments with their parents and run away over a multitude of things.  Blaming his death on Call of Duty is like blaming the death of a child who runs away because they do not wish to clean their room on normal parenting.

        In addition, although first person shooters, as the genre is called, do make up a large part of the market for successful games, their objective can hardly be reduced to whoever has the most "kills" wins.  In certain games, such as the Battlefield franchise, people can achieve extremely high scores, including the top three positions, having fired very few shots.  Theoretically, and I am sure that this has happened, one can achieve the top position without firing a single shot.  The games may involve trying to ‘kill’ the other team, however they also contain a strong element of teamwork.  In fact, many first person shooters have a play mode called capture the flag in which, although the exact method varies, winning always revolves around capturing the flag.  The only ‘killing’ essential to a team’s victory is preventing an opponent from capturing one’s team’s flag, distracting the opponent so a member of one’s team can obtain the enemy’s flag, or for recovery of one’s team’s flag from the enemy.  There is much more to many of these games than "kill, and kill again. And then keep killing."  Teamwork is highly involved.

    One last thing, these games do not turn "every violent teen male fantasy into reality" they simply display the fantasy in a different medium.  I would argue that the competition is the focus and primary draw.

  63. Chamale says:

    Definite truth about the realism there – the first time you witness a medic rush in Battlefield 1942, you’ll never be able to think of a game as "realistic". Also, respawning completely distorts the reality of the game. If there were even minor real-world consequences to death in a war game, like an electric shock to the dead player’s keyboard, it would completely change the structure of the game. Players would never shoot to kill, and would very rarely leave cover at all.

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  64. Razor210 says:

    There’s a lot of stuff that would look real; however, to a experienced player, people can see how unrealistic half the stuff in the game (recoil, accuracy of weapons, health regen) is.  \

    I’m recording this; should really be interesting to watch (if I don’t rage half the time)

  65. Austin_Lewis says:

    She was either A full of shit or B incompetent anyway.  And, if in fact her husband was part of the group that tried to track brandon, he’s incompetent too.  Seriously, tracking in the snow is the easiest shit ever.  It’s like mud except tracks stay longer, even if snowed on top of.

  66. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Methinks he meant Amen4u, and I agree. Too many flame wars b/c of her. Actually went and messaged Dennis and EZK asking them to deal with her. In the end, IIRC, it was Andrew (IIRC, it was then that he revealed his mod status) who came to the rescue.


  67. DarkTetsuya says:

    I was half-expecting to see her name crop up here again in this article… as if I gave 1/1000000000000000th of a rat’s backside what she thinks of me? Hardly.

    also ‘judge not lest ye be judged’? I mean not that they follow that to any extent, just throwing it out there.

    300 Episodes and counting: http://www.orangeloungeradio.com/

  68. Michael Chandra says:

    Didn’t mean that one, meant the one we got over regarding the Brandon case for a while.

  69. PHX Corp says:

    I’m not in the mood to deal with the Sicko in florida anyway(The reason why I called him a sicko, is he Lost his job over his obsession with Video Games(Primalry T2/R*))

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

  70. Michael Chandra says:

    Speaking of, let’s hope this doesn’t attract you-know-who again. I’m not in the mood for complaints about what horrible kind of human beings we are.

  71. TK n Happy Ness says:

    I wouldn’t worry too much. CBC is having financial problems, and most people would be watching other shows, not wasting their time on Fifth Estate.

    When Jack Thompson runs his mouth, does anyone really care what he has to say anymore?

  72. Saxy says:

    So while the news crews, family, and search party were busy blaming video games, the kid was falling to his death. Even after the fact, they’re still blaming video games. Great job, guys.

    What’s the real problem, though? If the kid was truly addicted to games, he wouldn’t think of running into the wilderness without them. So what problems at home are we not knowing about? Are his parents hiding something and using Video Games as a cover-up?

    …I would normally say "At least JT hasn’t reared his ugly head yet", but he will soon enough, so why bother?


  73. Flyinmx says:

    I was wondering if anyone noticed that on the Fifth Estate website they have discussion forums for each show (the one for this episode wasn’t up yet when I checked earlier.) I’m hoping that people here will join the discussion and help get across the other side of the story.

    I am ashamed in CBC right now, I can’t believe my country’s most influential station will be airing this inflammatory garbage tonight.   

    P.S. I haven’t posted here in ages, I need to get back in the swing of things! 

  74. PHOENIXZERO says:

    It was about a year and a half ago and that show with Benoit was a complete hackjob as well.

  75. olstar18 says:

    Anyone else think this is going to be just like that interview with the wrestler on steroids year or so ago.

  76. Michael Chandra says:

    Wait, games look real and beautiful only now? And it took them how long to notice that? Dudes, seriously, we experienced the entire evolution, I fail to see the massive draw. It looks nice, yes, but that hardly is the only reason people play it.

  77. sortableturnip says:

    No epic fail pic today 

    My thought is…why are they rehashing this stuff?

    What they are really doing is:


  78. Nekowolf says:

    Don’t you see, man!? That’s the conspiracy of the game companies! They are trying to code the brains of our children!

  79. Geoff says:

    Wonder how long it’ll be before turnip posts a FAIL pic…

    Everything that has to be said about such a blatant sensationalist shit story like this has been said.  Only thing I would like to comment is the quote "Turning every violent male fantasy into a reality…"

    No, no it does not.  It’s not reality, it’s still a fantasy.  The characters that die on the screen aren’t real, they’re a bunch of coding.  That blood splatter you see?  Coding.  The grenade explosion?  Coding. Only an already broken mind would look at that and not realize it’s fake.

    Bleh, too early for this.


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

  80. Michael Chandra says:

    By being programmed to see games as the real thing, they finally can sell all the hentai!

  81. DeepThorn says:

    Yeah, isnt that a wonderful trade off.  You do a great job with only one minor mistake and you get bitched at, while they do a horrid job, dont report on the facts at all, and rarely actually investigate at all, and make a decent living doing so.  Even worse, they are the A-holes that will point out every minor flaw in your program to screw you over.

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

  82. sirdarkat says:

    I knew I picked the wrong degree … I should have gone for Journalism I can make shit up on the fly and then make it look good all day long. Stupid ass CS degree have to actually make programs and people expect them to work … grumble grumble grumble.

  83. Michael Chandra says:

    If I were a professional gamer I’d also find game footage much interesting than that old whining sack interviewing me.

    Politically correct? Me? Why bother?

  84. Solipsis says:

    I know I’d be distracted if they played House on giant screens in the background. ^_^ I love House.

    So, yeah, distraction is totally incontrivertible evidence of scary addiction.

  85. magic_taco says:

    I feel sorry for the kid and family and hope the family can overcome the grief, but im hoping this will be entertain since this is often how the media loves to curly sue their facts all the way just to get viewers and as always,Paint a public image of gamers.

  86. SilverMelee says:

    I’m so sick of hearing about this guy, as I felt the whole story was blown way out of proportion and just downright irritated me. I was hoping we wouldn’t have to hear anymore about him after his death was confirmed. Can’t we just let the kid rest in peace now?

    News reports about him make me miss JT.

    — I do more than just play games. I draw, too: http://www.silvermelee.deviantart.com

  87. BearDogg-X says:

    Forgive me if I’m not impressed with yet another pathetic unintelligent hatchet job by the "mainstream" news media.

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.

    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  88. DarkSaber says:

    Oh good, it’s been a while since there was a blatant hatchet job. 


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

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