More Bad Publicity

by Shelbi on December 10th, 2007

A while back I heard about the story of Baby Grace, a toddler who was beaten to death by her parents, shoved into a trunk, and then thrown into Galveston Bay. I’ve just been waiting for the media to exploit the fact that her parents played WoW – as if that was a motivating factor in their crime. Today I came across an article by FOXNews which reiterates suggestions that online gaming websites “have a unique environment that could be a breeding ground for criminal minds.” Towards the end of the article, FOXNews goes on to imply that because this couple met on World of Warcraft, “Baby Grace” died. Would one assume it wouldn’t have happened otherwise? How can they even speculate that?

Of course, they also go into the whole “creepy adults courting minors” issue, but doesn’t that happen everywhere else online as well? Is it Blizzard’s responsibility to monitor your child’s every move in-game?

In all of these situations, it seems as though the media is trying to push blame on the companies that create the games, rather than the people who play them and commit the crimes. World of Warcraft isn’t the bad guy here. Blizzard didn’t force those parents to leave their baby alone to suffocate so they could go play. No one told that dude to go stab someone IRL for stealing an in-game item.

I don’t see an end to this blame-game. In fact, I think it’s only going to get worse. So, what’s next? Online policing of virtual worlds?? Oh, wait..

  1. Blaming the party involved doesn’t make nearly as many headlines as blaming a third party does.

  2. Yeah, blaming video games for other people’s problems is very popular. People need to realize that just like with movie ratings, the ESRB ratings exist for a reason but often times get ignored. People don’t have nearly as harsh a view on movies and television shows as they do with video games for some odd reason. *shrug*

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