From my city paper, the Toronto Star....
Family fears boy lured by gamers
Angelika and Steve Crisp are asking Barrie-area cottagers to check properties for signs of their son
Brandon, who ran away nine days ago.
Teen who ran away after Xbox dispute 'addicted' to playing online war game, father says
October 22, 2008
Steve Crisp's best hope for his missing 15-year-old son is that the lad is hiding out in a luxury
somewhere northeast of Barrie.
But his worst fear is that Brandon, a Grade 10 student, has ventured too far into the fantasy world of a video
game to which he was "addicted" and has run into trouble.
"I'm worried he has met someone online through this game. It could be organized crime or someone involved
in Internet gambling. Pedophiles can stalk kids through these games," the tormented father said in an
interview last night.
Brandon ran away from home in north Barrie nine days ago and has not been seen or heard from since. He
left home following a dispute with his parents over the Xbox online war game, Call of Duty 4, which he spent
countless hours and days playing over the last 18 months.
"I told him he wouldn't be getting his Xbox back. He said, `Then I'm going to leave home.'"
Steve called his son's bluff and even helped him pack his knapsack.
"I really thought he would be home later that day with his tail between his legs," said Steve, who remembers
running away from home once when he was a boy.
Brandon took off on his yellow bike, which was spotted just hours later in a ditch about eight kilometres
northeast of the family's home. Steve suspects the 5-foot-3, 100-pound boy was on his way to meet some
friends in Oro-Medonte Township. His three best buddies from school were also members of his "Call of
Steve has since learned from these friends that Brandon may be part of another clan, but the friends have no
idea who those members are. He fears the boy was lured into meeting someone from that clan and is now
being held against his will.
Barrie police and OPP have conducted ground and aerial searches and yesterday added reinforcements,
The Canadian Press reported. Police and the Crisp family yesterday urged cottagers and homeowners in the
area to check their properties for any sign of Brandon.
"It's a very high-end area of Barrie where there are multi-million-dollar cottages owned by (people) who only
use them two or three months a year. My best hope is that Brandon is having a great time, eating all their
food," Steve said.
Brandon has never run away before and would've called if he knew of his family's distress, he added.
"He has a good heart," Steve said of his son, who was a straight-A student until his obsession with gaming
started in 2006. The boy purchased Call of Duty with Christmas money and Steve subscribed to Xbox online
at his son's urging.
"It was peer pressure. He wanted to play with his three best friends but they live half an hour away. So they
would put their headsets on, meet up online and play a game," Steve explained.
But he said the game became an "addiction" and "obsession" for the teen who played against other teams
around the world, staying up all night and spending his summer holidays indoors.
Steve said he had taken the game away from Brandon more than 20 times in the past, including the Saturday
of Thanksgiving weekend after learning the boy had skipped school the day before and taken $20 off the
kitchen table, meant for one of his two sisters. But the following day, Brandon was playing the game again
after finding it hidden in his father's bathroom vanity. So Steve, a renovator, removed it for good, this time
taking it out of the house to his workshop.
"I just want him to know we love him dearly. It doesn't matter what he's done. He won't be in trouble when he
comes home. We're going to work things out," his father said.
Another fine example of the evil "Vidja Games" luring away the youngsters.....and everything in such "evil
quotes". ... the "Gamers" and their "Clan" ... At least he's not driving his ATV drunk like 90% of the kids up