The deliberately psychologically addictive nature of Facebook games like FarmVille and its ilk is under the spotlight again, this time highlighted as one of causes of the death of a 13 month old boy. These games aren’t violent, don’t contain disturbing imagery or mature themes, but are increasingly becoming implicated in game-related deaths.
Shannon Johnson, a 34 year old mother from North Colorado has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for criminal negligence. Apparently she left 13 month old Joseph alone in a full bath while she went to Facebook – to play Cafe World, one of the services many social games. “You left this little boy in a bathtub so you could entertain yourself on the computer by playing games,” said the presiding Judge. “And you left that 13-month-old human being, little Joseph, incredibly, for those reasons.”
Her defence? She said the year old boy Joseph had grown independent and wanted to be left alone in the tub. What sort of person idiot leaves a one year old alone in a body of water? Unfortunately, though paramedics responded quickly and were able to revive the child, it was for nought – he was pronounced dead at the hospital. Personally I think the sentence is a little too harsh, especially considering that child molesters and others who wilfully harm children get less jail time. Halve the time, but include mandatory sterilisation. some people just shouldn’t breed.
No amount of incarceration though is going to bring Joseph back.
Source : The AP (via NPR)
Last Updated: April 18, 2011