Monday, July 16, 2007


I really have nothing to add to this story except to Mr. Killen who said. "It's easy for someone to get addicted to something and neglect their children." Give me a fuckn break. IT speaks volumes to the personal responsibility factor here in the USA! Additiction my fucking ass!

RENO, Nev. - A couple who 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.

The children of Michael and Iana Straw, a boy age 22 months and a girl age 11 months, were severely malnourished and near death last month when doctors saw them after social workers took them to a hospital, authorities said. Both children are doing well and gaining weight in foster care, prosecutor Kelli Ann Viloria told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Michael Straw, 25, and Iana Straw, 23, pleaded guilty Friday to two counts each of child neglect. Each faces a maximum 12-year prison sentence.

Viloria said the Reno couple were too distracted by online video games, mainly the fantasy role-playing "Dungeons & Dragons" series, to give their children proper care.
"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.
Her brother had to be treated for starvation and a genital infection. His lack of muscle development caused him difficulty in walking, investigators said.

The Straws have been given public defenders. Jeremy Bosler, head of the county public defender's office, declined to comment to The Associated Press on Saturday.

Michael Straw is an unemployed cashier, and his wife worked for a temporary staffing agency doing warehouse work, according to court records. He received a $50,000 inheritance that he spent on computer equipment and a large plasma television, authorities said.

While child abuse because of drug addiction is common, abuse rooted in video game addiction is rare, Viloria said.

Last month, experts at an American Medical Association meeting backed away from a proposal to designate video game addiction as a mental disorder, saying it had to be studied further. Some said the issue is like alcoholism, while others said there was no concrete evidence it's a psychological disease.

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."


dive said...

Yikes! That even got in the English papers, Prudence.
These people need to be beaten to death.

Dear Prudence said...

I am so tired of people blaming everything on an ailment, disorder or addiction. Take fucking responsibility for yourselves you fucking Wankers!

Rich said...

I like to play my game boy while driving and talking on my cell phone all at the same time.

Rich said...

BTW I liked what you had to say on Robyn's blog the truth about illegals.

savannah said...

amen, sugar!

Dear Prudence said...

Rich: You and those five cheerleaders.. becareful we would miss you. Glad I could be of assistance and I am up for the JOB!

Savannah: How many more excuses are we going to make for usless fuckers?

Old Knudsen said...

Dungeons & Dragons

what is this the 80's again?

Anonymous said...

"Its a serious issue?" who are they kidding? They didn't forget to feed themselves.
This is just completely shocking prudence. Not the abuse so much as the apologists for these pair.
Mental illness my arse. Even teh mentally ill are capable of knowing right from wrong. I'm with Dive, beat the pair of them to death.

Dear Prudence said...

Olk K, never did get that whole D & D thing, unless it stood for Dunkin Donuts...
Kate: working where you do and in the field you are studying I am not surprised you think this is a load of crap too!

Fresh Hell said...

I'd have to agree with Kate and Dive that they need to be taken out of the genepool. However, I think beating is too good for them they need to be drawn and quartered. Just saying.

Michael said...

I've always been of the opinion that people should have to pass a common sense test before they even THINK about having kids.

This story re-enforces that belief.

What were these people thinking?

zirelda said...

There's a lot to be said for personal responsibility. Last night on the news here they found a 2 year old boy badly beaten by his parents. The neighbors said they often heard him crying but thought nothing of it.

It breaks my heart. Every child deserves loving Attentive parents. There is no excuse.

Jilly said...

I'm not a medical professional, so I couldn't even begin to figure out whether video game addiction should be recognised as a medical condition or not. What I would say, however, is that unless this couple failed to attend to their own basic needs as well, I'd question whether this was a case of addiction.

And it certainly isn't the game's fault. At most, the game was a medium through which instability manifested itself. And if it hadn't been the game, it would have been something else. I can't say I've seen any children charities flying the banner to have video games banned and I can't say I'd pay much attention to one that did. It would solve nothing.