17-year-old Jeffery A. Ehlers of Mount Pleasant got a bit too excited when he was playing a game on his PlayStation 3, allegedly using obscenities when he lost. His mom didn't care for that much, and told him to stop or she would unplug his console.
That allegedly prompted Ehlers to ramp up the vitriol, calling his mom derogatory names. When she followed through with her threat, she says, he began swearing at her, slamming his door multiple times and throwing his belongings around the house. It escalated to the point that he allegedly shoved his mother, which is when she called the police.
Ehlers is facing disorderly conduct charges and is being tried as an adult. At his bond hearing, Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch ordered him to not play any games or have any "violent contact" with his family.
He's due back in court October 24 and faces up to 90 days in jail.
Ehlers mom told police she believes her son is addicted to video games and often gets angry while playing. His game of choice was not identified, though we’re assuming it wasn’t, like, Just Dance 4.
Whether the teen is actually addicted or just an overly enthusiastic player is something for experts to determine (shouting obscenities and displaying other signs of rage are fairly common in online games today), but the subject of game addiction is a serious one.
Two years ago, a Pennsylvania attorney was suspended for three years because his inability to walk away from games resulted in sloppy legal work that resulted in 17 complaints about mishandled cases.
Other game addicts have died after lengthy play sessions. Two years ago, a study found that as many as 8% of American kids are so addicted to their electronic entertainment that it's causing real-world problems for their personal development.
- Crime & Justice
- Society & Culture
- video games