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Missing Ex-Marine's Family Says Video Game May Have Sparked Disappearance

"Relatives of a missing ex-Marine wounded in Iraq fear a video game that simulates combat may have triggered war memories that led to his disappearance, Florida's Herald Tribune reported.

After playing "Call of Duty," Eric Hall "just got up and said he had to go," Courtney Birge, a family friend, told the newspaper.

The 24-year-old Hall left the home of a relative in Deep Creek, Fla., where he was staying, on Feb. 3, according to the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office. He rode away on a motorcycle that was later found on a roadside, still running.

Hall had been hallucinating and having flashbacks, the sheriff's office said."

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timmyp533268d ago

He saw his friend die so he must be having some hard times.

Gish3268d ago

I was wondering when we would hear about something like this. As games get more and more realistic, it hits home to the guys who have actually experienced the "fun" first hand. Most of us are lucky that it's just entertainment and not life and death.

Nuclearwinter3268d ago

foxnews.com huh? no wonder it's CoDs fault.

n00bie3268d ago

The problem is not just about realism in interactive entertainment.

No matter how realistic a game is, it is still just a game. To paraphrase an article I've read earlier regarding realism of GT5-Prologue, the author stated that even though he felt it was the most realistic driving game he has played to date, it would never evoke the fear he experienced when participating in a real race.

Yes, due to the interactive nature of video games, we do demonstrate certain level of physiological attachment to the sensory input we receive. However, is it not up to our higher judgment to determine how far such stimuli affect us? When we see that delicious piece of cake sitting on the table, we choose to eat it because we want to, not because someone else tells us to. Likewise, when we witness a crime take place right in front of us and not do anything to remedy the situation even if we have the ability to do so, it is not because of an order someone else gives us; it is because we choose not to do anything.

The same can be said about this case. If this individual is indeed suffering from post-traumatic syndrome and the experience of Call of Duty 4 made him relive his less desirable experience, it is not because the game tells him he must act in such a way; it is because he has decided to react in such a way. He has chosen to do so because in his case, he lacks the ability to take in these images and sounds from the game and control the sense of attachment the way an average individual playing the same game can.

When this occurs, the question becomes, who is to blame? Is it the game developers' fault for doing the best they can at providing the market with a product? Or, is it the individual's fault for acting irrationally? Or, could it even be the military's fault for not providing this person some form of psychological support and guidance to help him cope with such trauma?

No matter what the answer is, what I would hate to see the most is some news network (ohh hey, hello there Fox) or politician uses this incidence to make a point about how horrible video games are.

Graphics by ATi3267d ago

In regards to where the blame lies....

It lies with the military.

If you are subjected to massive, life-altering trauma whilst serving in the armed forces, the it should be the military's responsibility to help you cope with it.

If they don't, that means they don't give a rat's ass about your military service and they are totally selfish and thankless in regards to the treatment of their veterans.

Guwapo773267d ago

Being in the military, I can be the first to tell you it is the military's fault. It is truly sad to see how folks in my sister service get treated after a serious injury. There are a lot of ways to get treatment...only if you know the avenues. There are so many support programs for people like him but they aren't widely advertised by the military or civilian sector.

I can write a damn book on this topic but I'll stop there. Anyways, I wish this man the best of luck.

...Also, he got royally screwed to not get maximum injury retirement pay. Max is $2500 but according to this article he is only receiving $700 per month. A man in this condition should receive max.

bozobucketeer3268d ago

Two things can be learned from this article.
1. If you suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome after returning home from a war, don't buy a video game based on that war.
2. If you watched a friend die, don't buy a video game where your friends die.
Well I guess 3 things. FoxNews is run by republicans.

Tempist3267d ago

You do seem to have a point (aside from the cheap shots at number 3)

No lets think about this for a second, did or would world war 2 veterans, would want to play games like Medal of Honor, Call of Duty to have to relive and be remind of the terrible wars and things they have to see?

Clearly there's a lack of commonsense and logic when you come home from a war injured and emotionally damaged and start playing a game to relive that over and over again. Where's the line in all this? Why didn't anyone talk to the man about what he was playing a why he was playing.

Sometimes it's good to get back into the saddle, but there are times and circumstances that shouldn't allow for that.

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