The woman later told police that she didn’t know how to raise a baby.
January 2011—Flaxmere, New Zealand. Mikara Reti left her five-month-old son in the care of her boyfriend: 21-year-old Trent Hapuku. She returned to find the baby crushed to death in Trent’s arms as he sat absorbed in his PlayStation game. The infant had suffered blunt-force trauma to his liver, internal bleeding, and a severed spinal cord which caused him to vomit on Trent’s shoulder just before dying.
Mikara was pregnant with Trent’s child at the time.
October 2010—Shelbyville, TN. Eighteen-year-old Andrew Johnston went overboard in his attempts to silence his one-month-old son William during an intense gaming session. “I…held him in my hands and squeezed him harder than what was intended,” Johnston wrote. “I then took both of his legs and shook him with enough force to hurt him.”
The infant died a week later from a severe brain hemorrhage.
September 2009—Yangju, S. Korea. An unnamed 41-year-old man and 25-year-old woman met online, fell in love, and had a baby. The couple repeatedly left their daughter home alone to go care for their virtual daughter, “Anima,” at a local Internet café. After an engrossing 12-hour session, they returned to find their three-month-old biological daughter had starved to death.
It is unclear whether their favorite daughter, Anima, is still alive in the virtual world of Prius Online.
Not every MMORPG story is a pathetic tragedy. Take the anomalous Rick K., for instance. His ex-girlfriend grew so hungry for his attention that she would go down on him while he played games. She’s gone now; but Rick has no trouble attracting women. An athletic animatronics sculptor, he recently met a hot young lady online while playing Mass Effect. They finally met in real life at the Middle Tennessee Anime Convention and felt immediate chemistry.
“All of my free time is spent in movie theaters, playing video games, or having sex,” he tells me. “The costumes get expensive, though.”
Rick is the Keith Richards of geekdom—the rare exception who can feed his addiction and still pull women. Most compulsive gamers never even land a girlfriend to lose.
Not that I’m one to judge. I played Nintendo religiously as a kid. Any female companionship I enjoyed was in spite of my obsession with Tetris and Mario Kart. Everything changed when I bought The Legend of Zelda for my N64 system. Having anticipated its release for months, I found myself playing Zelda for 14-hour stretches—smoking, napping, then starting the next shift.
After four days it suddenly dawned on me: If female affection is inversely proportional to hours playing video games, I might never get laid again. So I sold my game system and all of my cartridges for a few hundred bucks, then hitchhiked to a commune in Florida.
A year later, I met my first love in a den of depravity—a raven-haired Goth chick named Zelda. (True story.) She broke my heart, but I have never looked back.
The women in real life are cruel, but at least they are soft to the touch.
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