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Nev. couple blame Internet for neglect

Mon Jul 16, 8:09 AM ET

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.
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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."
 

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Originally Posted by losttsol
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Nev. couple blame Internet for neglect

Mon Jul 16, 8:09 AM ET

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.
ADVERTISEMENT
click here

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."

I think this has already been posted here.

Highly-Annoyed
 

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Yes it's already in the off topic section. This kinda crap isn't overclocking news. It's irresponsible parenting news.
 

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Regardless, this kind of stuff isn't the 'internets' fault. Its general ******ation. If you can't get off of the internet for the two hours a day it takes to feed a baby, then you suck... :/
 

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Hah, that's what they get for not having laptops!! Survival of the smartest.

*Walks into a wall trying to kill the aliens in XCom*

 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by losttsol
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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.

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess it was WoW.........
 

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Originally Posted by Whodie View Post
I'm gonna read the text and quote it too but then I'm going to guess it was WoW.........
fixed
 

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Originally Posted by Xerasyte View Post
Regardless, this kind of stuff isn't the 'internets' fault. Its general ******ation. If you can't get off of the internet for the two hours a day it takes to feed a baby, then you suck... :/

dude, its not that. its their fault for being ******* and staying on the computer all day long. now all that is left is to sue the interwebz... but who owns the interwebs

*4 hours* lil bush?
 

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Sadly, I used to play that game and am wondering if I was ever grouped with them while their kid was wallowing in his own urine.
 

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Originally Posted by losttsol View Post
Sadly, I used to play that game and am wondering if I was ever grouped with them while their kid was wallowing in his own urine.
I played WoW with quite a few people like that. They didn't have any kids thank god. But they would play from the time they got off of work till the time they went to bed, daily! Weekends required all day long and even night playing.

I had a rule in WoW. If you have kids and need breaks just announce it. I will not kick you from the group for attending to your kid during the 1-2 hr period we might spend going through said instance. And if anyone else in the group decided to complain about it they found themselves replaced.

I the parents aren't allowed to just walk away from this.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by losttsol View Post
Sadly, I used to play that game and am wondering if I was ever grouped with them while their kid was wallowing in his own urine.
It was the cat's urine btw..


I wonder how someone can do that to his own kids. just 'forgetting' them.
 
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