Can Your Video Game Kill Your Child?

Last week, I wrote about gaming addiction. It’s very real – and it’s cropping up in people and places you’d likely never expect. Several of you reached out to inform me that it’s not as big of a problem as I made it out to be. Are you sure? This morning, I read of a mother jailed for killing her infant because the child interrupted her Farmville game with cries. I’d say that’s a pretty dang big problem.

Anyone – anywhere – from any background – can become addicted to a game. You can blame anything you like, but the fact remains the same. This woman became so immersed in a Facebook game that she murdered her own baby simply because it wouldn’t stop crying while she was trying to focus on playing. This isn’t even an isolated incident, y’all. Last year, a 26-year-old woman taped her child’s mouth, stuffed her in a garbage bag and let her die because the toddler was interrupting their gaming night. Last month in Seoul, a woman gave birth in an Internet cafe bathroom after an entire day of gaming. She placed the newborn into a garbage bag and threw it into a dumpster nearby.

There are hundreds of stories like this one. Thousands more point to neglect and abuse of minors by parents so wrapped up in a game that they cannot be bothered to parent their children. Up until now, you likely thought that only kids or teens could possibly become addicted to games. Yes – that definitely happens as well. What’s with this growing surge of parents whose habits are negatively affecting their families – even to the point of death at times

Life is hard. We all know this. The economy sucks. We’re expected to be super-human and that just never quite happens. More and more people in their 20s, 30s and even older turn to games as a form of escape. After all – it can’t hurt them like drugs or alcohol, right? What’s the harm in logging in to kill monsters or bad guys as a form of stress relief? Why can’t we spend a few hours tending our crops while letting our brain zone out and just forget about how tough the day was? While it’s certainly okay to do these things for these very reasons, you have to be careful not to let yourelf become so immersed that you forget what your priorities are. The game can NEVER become your priority.

I’m not a counselor or a doctor. I cannot begin to tell you if you may have a problem or are headed towards one. Most of you will never have to worry about it. But for anyone out there who may use ANY type of game – console, PC, social, mobile or others – to escape reality more often than you do anything else, you need to pay attention. You can scoff all you like and tell me you’d never neglect or harm your own child… but it happens every day.

Something snaps inside of a person’s mind and they become almost disassociated with themselves. At that point, they are no longer the person who loves and cares for their baby or child… they become someone who cannot control themselves or think rationally any longer, due to an addiction clouding their mind. Their need to continue playing without interruption is much like an alcoholic having a need for drink so powerful that nothing better stand between them and their glass or can. I’m happy that these cases are still not THAT common… but they ARE slowly on the rise. We need to bring more attention to this so that people are aware. Hopefully, through the power of shedding light on a serious situation that no one wants to talk about we can prevent the next child from being harmed. 

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