To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Video Games Make You Neglect Your Kids

This was at least suggested by this AP article. Have a taste:

RENO, Nev. — A couple authorities say were so obsessed with the
Internet and video games that they left their babies starving and suffering
other health problems have pleaded guilty to child neglect.

[...]

"They had food; they just chose not to give it to their kids because they
were too busy playing video games," Viloria told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Police said hospital staff had to shave the head of the girl because
her hair was matted with cat urine. The 10-pound girl also had a mouth
infection, dry skin and severe dehydration.


Yeah, pretty gross... There's no question these "parents" deserve to be locked up. And if there was a hell they'd have a cut-in-line ticket.

But can something this terrible really be blamed on video games. Is it not right to blame - I don't know - the piece of shit parents? The implied chain of causation here seems really ass-backwards. Could it be that rather than video games causing child neglect, this couple played video games all day because they were too fucking useless and careless to address their real responsibilities in life?

Suppose video games didn't exist for the sake of discussion. Is there any question that people like this would have found some other unproductive activity to use in order to escape their parental and other responsibilities? There is no question in my mind. It seems like blaming video games (or even implying that video games were the cause) will serve no purpose except to let this couple off easy from the punishment and/or help that they deserve. Not to mention it will help high-minded nannies further prod the government to shift blame for people's lack of personal responsibility to video games, drugs, etc. once again (You listening Hillary??).

For the most part, video games (and most drugs for that matter) provide mostly responsible people to pass some free time in a way they enjoy and get their minds away from work and other daily stress. But, yes, this also means that a minority will use them to avoid the basic responsibilities necessary to maintain their lives and, in this case, their children's lives.

To conclude this post with the conclusion of the article:

Patrick Killen, spokesman for Nevada Child Abuse Prevention, said video
game addiction's correlation to child abuse is "a new spin on an old
problem."

"As we become more technologically advanced, there's more
distractions," Killen said. "It's easy for someone to get addicted to something
and neglect their children. Whether it's video games or meth, it's a serious
issue, and (we) need to become more aware of it."


Ah yes, the call for awareness: step 1 in the process towards nannyism.

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