As police continue their investigation into the disappearance of Barrie, Ontario teen Brandon Crisp, Microsoft  doubled the reward money for information leading to the location of the 15 year old. Microsoft donated $25 000.00, bringing the reward to $50 000.00. As previously reported in mainstream media, Brandon disappeared from home after his parents took away his Xbox 360 as
the amount of time he spent playing Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare  was interfering with Brandon’s school attendance and grades. At last report, police officers were concentrating their search in the Shanty Bay area, as that was the last place where anyone can confirm seeing Brandon, who left home on October 13th. A woman out walking on a trail spoke with Brandon, who was having problems with his bike, which he left in a ditch along the trail.
Police are also analyzing Brandon’s XBLA account hoping to find clues as to where he may have gone, as well as talking to his school friends and checking social networks for any mention of Brandon.
The case of this missing teen has once again thrust the nature of video games and gamers into the spotlight, with strong opinions being voiced on both the pro and con sides of the industry. CTV Television news quickly put out an interview piece where they talk to a few “recovering gamer addicts” and publicize a web site for those seeking help for their gaming addiction. What they forgot to cover was all of the extenuating circumstances which may have caused these “addictions” in the first place. As with all stories of missing teens, I’m sure there is more the whole story than just a disagreement over the loss of Xbox privileges, and whether those other factors will come to light once Brandon is located is yet to be seen.