August 27, 2003


Another interesting game-related tragedy story out of Arkansas this month, with Everquest blamed for a three-year old's car death. The twist is that the mother in question was associated with an anti-EQ addiction group.

Back in May, Christina Cordell, 36, of Springdale, AK, apparently wrote into the Spouses Against Everquest discussion board, "I feel sorry that people get wrapped up into this and destroy their relationships. I just hope that one day they will wake up before it's too late and realize they are alone with no real friends and their family is gone."

On Aug. 8, that seems to be exactly what happened to Cordell. She has since been charged with manslaughter for the death of her three year-old daughter in a hot car while she was inside playing EQ with her live-in boyfriend.

There's about one story a year in the U.S. like this... I've professionally covered a couple of them. It's worth noting that it's almost never the local law enforcement or justice authorities who raise the spectre of EQ addiction... it is almost always brought in as a possible mitigator by friends and sometimes defence counsel, for the actions of a neglectful parent. In one story I did write about in Florida, even the defence counsel laughed at the choice of EQ as a diversion being much use in a courtroom, calling it "the dumbest idea I've ever heard." It's similar in this context to the Columbine shootings, which although certainly at least slightly Doom/Quake-inspired, were never regarded by the police as blamable on any one other than those who pulled the triggers, and possibly those who sold them the guns and trained them in firearms use.

Cordell's posts to the Spouses Against Everquest Yahoo group are archived here.

Posted by BruceR at 10:53 AM