Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Couple Play Online Dungeons & Dragons So Much Their Children Almost Starve To Death

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » The DU Lounge Donate to DU
 
matcom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:15 AM
Original message
Couple Play Online Dungeons & Dragons So Much Their Children Almost Starve To Death
<snip>

Addiction to the Internet and the online version of the fantasy role-playing game "Dungeons & Dragons" is what led a Reno couple to nearly starve to death their young children, authorities said.

Michael and Iana Straw, 25 and 23, are accused of losing themselves in a virtual world of monster-slaying missions while their children suffered starvation and sickness.
One child is 11 months, and the other nearly 2 years old.

Friday morning, the Straws pleaded guilty to two counts of child neglect. Both face a maximum 12-year sentence. Through jail officials, they declined an interview for this article. Their attorneys in the public defender's office could not be reached.

While child abuse because of methamphetamine addiction or alcoholism is common in Washoe County, abuse rooted in computer and video game addiction is rare, said Deputy District Attorney Kelli Ann Viloria, who is prosecuting the Straws.

http://news.rgj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070714...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
skygazer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:17 AM
Response to Original message
1. They all equal abuse rooted in dumb-assness
Who the hell cares what the excuse is?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
AllegroRondo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:19 AM
Response to Original message
2. the on line version, of course
we never went that nuts with the pen and paper version.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
NewJeffCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #2
28. I know what you mean
Usually, we brought enough snack food to feed some small nations, too.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Ariana Celeste Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:22 AM
Response to Original message
3. ...
*slowly steps away from her online game*
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Oeditpus Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #3
24. Bunny killer!
:cry:

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Ariana Celeste Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #24
42. I'm laying off the bunnies for now.
Current mission = the death of many bird people. I am now 0/8 on that NM, but I got a pair of Zealot's Mitts this time.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Oeditpus Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #42
43. I'll just pretend I understand that
Although "the death of many bird people" does not bode well for XemaSab. :scared:

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Ariana Celeste Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #43
46. hehe
XemaSab is cool.

I'm talking bird-man hybrid types.

;)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Akoto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:23 AM
Response to Original message
4. As an indy online games developer, and a former DDO player ...
Edited on Mon Jul-16-07 11:32 AM by Akoto
I always find it terrible to hear of stories like these. It makes me feel as though my craft may have had a hand in causing the end result.

There's an obvious element of addictive personality involved here. DDO in particular was designed so that players didn't have to play for hours on end to advance. They could do a short adventure here, a short adventure there. Many of them took about an hour, give or take thirty minutes. You could progress your character reasonably and still have a life. Clearly, these people went beyond the design intentions.

Other games are not so thoughtful in that respect. Many *do* require large time investments to get anywhere. EverQuest was famous for this back in the day. The wildly popular World of Warcraft's large group material (called "raiding") can take up several hours in one sitting.

This is how the major developers make their money, though. They slow down player progress, which means the player must participate over a longer period of time, which means monthly subscription fees. Some people are so driven to overcome that next hurdle, they pursue it to the detriment of their real world lives.

As a developer, this is one cycle I hope to break.



Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ZombieNixon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. Me too.
I've designed all my games to lock up after six continuous hours of play and only to unlock after an hour has elapsed.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Akoto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Funny you should say that ...
Edited on Mon Jul-16-07 11:39 AM by Akoto
I was just thinking about the policy China had pursued for mandatory time restrictions. This would shut players out of the game after spending so much time logged in.

Initially, I was concerned about this. China comprises a massive portion of the online gaming population, and it would've hurt business.

After incidents like these, however, I am beginning to see the wisdom of the idea. Money isn't worth suffering, and I would rather have regulation than fear that my trade is doing this to people.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
AllegroRondo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Doesnt China also have "gold farming" businesses?
where they hire people for next to nothing, to sit and do repeated actions all day just to make gold for resale?
Perhaps this law was an attempt to crack down on that?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Akoto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #10
15. China is the primary location of such businesses, yes.
Edited on Mon Jul-16-07 12:07 PM by Akoto
They're not the only country, but it's estimated that around 100,000 Chinese participate in the business. The "virtual economy" is so huge that it even outranks the economies of many real world nations!

Often, these workers are placed in deplorable conditions (hours, location, or both) and get maybe $100-$250 a month for what they do. It's work that anyone can learn, though, so it's very popular among college students looking for some extra cash.

The workers are paid low wages. Their bosses then sell that currency to brokers at marked up prices. The brokers sell that currency to players in turn, marking it up even further.

Gold farming is detrimental to the health of the games themselves, too. They flood the virtual environments with excess currency, which devalues it. Often, the farmers also engineer the worth of properties within the game, driving up prices. Ironically, this means that people will have to buy large sums of money to purchase expensive in-game items, which are sold for those high prices by (you guessed it) the gold farmers. So, they get real cash for the game currency sale, and then they recover their in-game cash through the marked up items.

China has had a few cases of neglect and even death linked to online games, which is why the limitation policy was created.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Marrah_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. Holy crap
gold farmers being discussed on DU.....I think I have entered a parallel universe.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Akoto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Heh! Well ...
Like I said, I am a developer. These things interest me. :)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Inchworm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #19
32. LOL
:yourock:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
skygazer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. It's not your trade doing it
It's people themselves. Normal, rational people are not going to get so caught up in a game that they neglect their kids. Blaming the game is like blaming heavy metal music for people who shoot up high schools, or Bugs Bunny cartoons for people who roll homeless guys for money. There may be a correlation between the game (or the music or the cartoon) and the person's underlying problems but they only serve to act as a catalyst for something that's already there not as the cause of the whole thing. At least that's my point of view. Because otherwise, everyone would do this silly shit and most people don't.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Akoto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #12
16. Sure, but ...
I am a pretty compassionate guy. That's all. I'd be concerned if I didn't even have the slightest thought about it. :)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ZombieNixon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #12
21. True, but there are things that we as developers can do to alleviate incidences among people who do.
And if the game is the catalyst, then it's going to get the blame, and no one wants congressional hearings about themselves, even if Jack Thompson is an unmitigated asshole.

Ethics in computer gaming is surprisingly a rather big topic in the industry these days. :)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Akoto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #21
30. I wholeheartedly agree.
Edited on Mon Jul-16-07 12:21 PM by Akoto
People do have a responsibility to monitor their game usage. As developers, however, I think we have an obligation to make good games which are still reasonably designed.

I abide by the principle that ethics must come before profits.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Marrah_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #30
36. No more 16 hour raid dungeons please
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Marrah_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #12
22. its like many addictions
I can have a few glasses of wine anytime I want, no problem. I have a friend who can't just have a couple and allowed it to destroy their lives.

Online gaming can be incredibly difficult to shut off, even just to get a few hours sleep. Koreans have dropped dead in intenet cafes from playing without food, drink or sleep.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Marrah_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #4
18. Its like Alcohol
Some people can do it in moderation and some cannot. I have been a gamer for a long time, former member of power guilds, etc. I have seen marriages break up, people drop out of college, people lose kids, jobs, houses, etc. All the very same things that happen with many alcoholics. Then you have functioning addicts also, who get away with doing the bare minimum in life so as not to take away game time.

I love gaming, but people need to realize it can be addictive, just like a drug.

It was not unusual for my fellow guildmates to stay up for 48 hours straight, especially on the first few days of a games release or expansion. There is an unexplainable rush to get the first <insert random uber item here> or the first to max out levels, the first to get into whatever dungeon is the new uber one. Always a rush to be first, to be the best.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Inchworm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #18
35. More like crack
The alcohol is for sleeping after too much gaming. :D

:hi:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Marrah_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #35
40. ROFL
Actually from what I've seen about Meth, that seems like the perfect game addict drug of choice. Most I know just smoke a bowl now and then.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MsKandice01 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #4
23. My husband and I both play WoW...
But we only raid together once a week, if that, and most of those times, our son is either over at the neighbor's house with his little friend or spending the day with my in-laws. Both of us simply can't be engrossed in the game for four hours at a time while our son is with us. I was playing in a small one-hour raid yesterday and almost got kicked out of the raid because, God forbid, I had to go AFK to take my son to the bathroom.

In our previous guild though, there was a couple who had a young son and both of them were online constantly. In fact, they were guild leaders so not only did they attend every raid together but when they weren't raiding, they were farming, organizing guild activities and they also had alts that they played (together) when they weren't doing that. I often wondered how they had time to tend to their son. They were extremely arrogant also because they were so "l33t" but I always wanted to tell them that they may have been great gamers but they were shitty parents. When I first saw this headline, I thought it may have been about them.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Marrah_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. I don't know anyone playing MMORPGS that doesnt know someone like that
It's very sad.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Akoto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #23
34. Yep. Those types are on every game, unfortunately.
Edited on Mon Jul-16-07 12:20 PM by Akoto
World of Warcraft was advertised as a game for the casual player. Throughout most of the advancement process, this remains true. Once you hit the high end, though, I believe the raiding environment becomes more aggressive/emphasized than EverQuest's was at its prime.

They do have two developers who once hailed from EverQuest raiding guilds, though. I'm not surprised by the unfortunate shift in development style.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Marrah_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #34
37. WOW endgame sucks way more time then EQ's
Nothing quite like spending 12-14 hours on a Saturday (minimum) not moving from your desk except for drinks and bathroom breaks.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
LibraLiz1973 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:28 AM
Response to Original message
5. Games, Drugs... whatever. Abuse is abuse
If they hadn't been playing online games they would have done it for another reason.
Notice that THEY weren't starving.
And they still managed to have sex, because the one child was 22 months old and the other 11 months old.

Why was a cat peeing on that poor babies head?? :cry:

These people should be locked the fuck up for a LONG long time. And they should NEVER ever be able to see those children again. I don't want to hear that they were young- this negligent abuse is disgusting.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TommyO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
6. I'm glad the job offer hasn't gone to your head - you still know what's important.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
KG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:40 AM
Response to Original message
9. when did they find time to get busy and make the kids?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Marrah_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #9
25. Every so often the game shuts down for maintenance
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
NewJeffCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #9
29. and, WTF is this with gamers breeding?
next thing you know, hell will be freezing over
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Marrah_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #29
39. we give birth to the next generation of gamers !
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
NewJeffCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #39
45. I know, it's a bit of a joke
There were a few guys in my old D&D gaming group that were not exactly social butterflies.

A little joke from when I last gamed regularly a few years back. The group DM and his brother were both there - and both have long-term serious girlfriends. And, myself and another guy were both there and the two of us were both married with kids.

However, four other guys that were supposed to show up were all late - and none had bothered to call. None of those guys had girlfriends, or had any to anybody's knowledge.

So, the guy that was the group DM made the sarcastic comment, "Isn't it amazing that the guys with lives - you know, the ones who have "gotten laid" - are the ones that are here on time and ready to go?"
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Marrah_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #45
47. haha
My boys think it's cool that mom games. I miss paper and dice though, that went out the window when the kids came along. That was way more fun then online.

I've been half thinking of re-activating my WOW account, but only if I can find a more casual group to play with.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Marrah_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #29
48. Ohhh and if it makes slightly more sense to you:
The guy part of the equation was not a gamer ..hehe.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Oeditpus Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
11. Strawman argument
:D

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Writer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:52 AM
Response to Original message
13. They fumbled their parental sensibility rolls.
That's truly awful. :(
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Coventina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 11:54 AM
Response to Original message
14. "Blue Valkerie is hungry!"
Sorry....

:yoiks:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #14
31. Nice!
And Lobbers suck. Always have and always will.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bicentennial_baby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #14
51. "Don't shoot food!"
:yoiks:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
17. Boy I sure am glad that I have been able to avoid getting into anything like that on-line
:think:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
skygazer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #17
27. That reminds me.....
... I think it's time to feed the kids. Kids?.... KIDS?....
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Inchworm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:17 PM
Response to Original message
33. I have forgot to feed myself
Never youngn's or dogs.

Thats pretty sad.

:hi:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Marrah_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #33
38. Me too
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
BarenakedLady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #33
41. Hehe
Me too. Never got to the point my kids weren't fed. They may have had to wait until a break in the raid however. :blush:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
noonwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:54 PM
Response to Original message
44. How'd they manage to take enough time away to have kids?
That mom is a prime candidate for a Norplant
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Marrah_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #44
49. The servers go down once a week or so
I guess they manages to cram a shower and sex during down time.

:hide:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MrSlayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 04:20 PM
Response to Original message
50. Must have a Wisdom score of 3.
You have to know when to put it down.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Tue Oct 21st 2014, 10:59 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » The DU Lounge Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC