Court Bans Wisc. Teen From Playing Video Games

A Wisconsin teen has managed to get himself officially banned from playing video games. According to multiple reports, Racine County Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch ordered 17-year-old Jeffery A. Ehlers of Mount Pleasant to pay a $250 signature bond and ordered him to not play video games or have "violent contact" with his family. Ehlers made his first court appearance on Monday answering charges of disorderly conduct. He is being charged as an adult.

The charges stem from an incident on Sunday when his mom told him to stop playing his PS3 and put him in a "time out" because he became violent when he played them. When he wouldn't listen she unplugged the game system and he became agitated, slamming his door multiple times, throwing things in his room, hurling obscenities at her, and pushing her, according to police.

Ehler's mother ultimately called police and he was arrested. She tells police that her son is addicted to video games and she has asked him multiple times to stop playing because he becomes violent. If convicted of the misdemeanor charge, Ehlers could face up to 90 days in jail. The teen is due back in court Oct. 24. His legal court-appointed counsel entered a not guilty plea.


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  1. 0
    FourX11gd says:

    Just remember that there is precedent for banning someone from things via a court order. Phone, computer, TV all have been banned from people due to various reasons via court orders.  Video games are not alone.

    Other things get banned as well, driving, ownership of guns, even other people (restraining orders).

    I find it disturbing the the teen was banned from video games only because it is fuel for the anti-game crowd to point to it and say "See, them there video games are bad."

  2. 0
    Sajomir says:

    Games were singled out because the outburst stemmed around her trying to take video games away from him as a temporary punishment. Clearly this kid's attachment to video games is so strong that it is taking precedent over the safety of his family, since he actually assaulted his mom.

    I didn't see anything about TV shows or movies that caused the assault.

  3. 0
    Cecil475 says:

    I too was wondering if this was a lifetime ban or not. And if so, how exactly is this enforced? who is to stop him from walking into a store and purchasing a videogame, once he becomes 18 and over? Also why was videogames singled out? What about movies, and tv shows? 

     – W

  4. 0
    Neeneko says:

    Well, with such a limited description it is hard to say just how bad the situation was.  While in theory it is nice to say 'well, the parents should control their children', there is only so much an adult can legally do to a minor under their care and if those methods do not work, yeah, you call in the police.   If a teen resists parents with violence, well, there is a point where using parental dominance isn't enough.

    At 17, the person is large enough that the can physically resist if psychological control is no longer working, they can easily present a physical danger to parents (esp if we are talking about a single mother here), at which point yeah, you bring in the police.

    As for the ban, such a court order mostly serves as a paper trail so that if the police get called out again for a similar situation they can escalate the charges.   It is unlikely anyone is monitoring him or would care if he was playing tetris, but such a blanket order leaves things nice and strait forward with no ambiguity regarding what he can play.

    I agree on the surface it sounds a bit much, and it probably is, but without knowing the full situation it is hard to tell.

  5. 0
    djnforce9 says:

    Sounds like a typical rebellious teenager to me who simply got infuriated that his favourite pasttime is being taken away from him (and thus threw a fit over it). I cannot imagine that the games he plays has directly contributed to this behavour and that there are no other factors (such as emotional and behavioural problems) but I do not know this person so I cannot judge.

    Regardless of the situation, it seems overkill to ban ALL video games from his life and questionable whether it can even be enforced. For example, would it violate the court order if he picked up and played Tetris or is it just "mature" games that contain violence like Grand Theft Auto, Halo, or Call of Duty? Also, how long does this remain in effect? For example, when this teen moves out of his parents' home, can he THEN choose to purchase a console and play games again?

    Lastly, what kind of parent has to resort to calling the police? That alone seems over the top and shows how poorly she can keep her own son under control. Now if he was brandishing a gun or other deadly weapon, that would be a completely different story but cussing while slamming doors just sounds like a tantrum and not in any way threatening.

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