Children's Deaths Raise Concerns Over Video Game Violence


Wednesday, October 12th 2011, 12:20 am
By: News 9


Havonnah Johnson, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- It is something we've seen twice in two months. A baby dead after a gamer is interrupted.

We asked a therapist what happens when a video game subject dies, and can that cause an avid gamer to kill in real life?

Riley Walker is the father of a 14-month-old. He is accused of hitting then suffocating his daughter to death.

10/11/2011 Related Story: Father Arrested In Toddler's Death In Byng

A similar situation in August, 13-year-old Crystian Rivera was babysitting when his 10-month-old baby sister cried in the middle of his game. He is accused of shaking her to death.

8/23/2011 Related Story: OKC Teen Faces Murder Charge In 9-Month-Old Sister's Death

"This is taking over their life. They are living their life through a fantasy and not the reality of life," Therapist Bonnie Blauser said.

Both babies died after their cries interrupted their caretakers' on-screen character. So did the men just snap?

"It is not something that a mild mannered person would do and then all of a sudden is being affected by(video games)," Blauser said.

Avid gamer Clayton Young can relate. Young spends anywhere from two to six hours a day gaming. A lot of research, time and skill go into it but he says the recent deaths are extreme.

"I get focused and when people are trying to have conversations with me, they tend to irritate me and it ends up getting them mad. On World of Warcraft I don't like to be bothered, because there is no pause button," Young said.

Experts say gamers should hit the pause button and limit gaming and television watching daily.