And Then They Blame It On The Media: 15 Year Old Columbus Gamer Sent to Hospital After 4 Day Gaming Marathon

Well, what do you expect?

Tyler Rigsby, fifteen years old, was locked away in his room over what was almost five days, controller in hand, fragging the day (and night) away while playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

NBC reports that the mother of the child remembers her boy only leaving his room on occasion to get himself some snacks or go to the bathroom. Apparently it was only when he emerged on a Tuesday morning to head over to his aunt's that he collapsed three times after he arrived.

Jesse Rawlins, the boy's mother, said he turned very pale and just fell over. Medics were called to the scene and rushed him to the hospital where he was connected to an IV and pumped with fluids. The boy was dehydrated. That's what drinking Mountain Dew exclusively for four days will do to you.

In all seriousness, I think we're all very glad that the boy came out of this safely, but there is something to be said about common sense and reasonable 'gaming' hours for a teenage boy. It's no secret that the mother is the one who is at fault here, and it's unfortunate that these type of news stories are often sensationalized and twisted into turning the media into the villain when the real fault begins and ends with poor decision making on the parents' side.

Dr. Mike Patrick, an emergency physician at Nationwide Children's Hospital (where Tyler was taken) says that dehydration can be very dangerous, even deadly.


"So you have decreased blood volume. That leads to decreased blood pressure. When your blood pressure gets to a certain point, you're unable to get enough blood up to the brain. If you're not getting enough oxygen to the brain, that can cause you to pass out and it could cause you to die."

Jesse Rawlins says she learned her lesson the hard way and that "The Xbox is gone."

But is this really the solution? To treat one extreme circumstance with another? If anything this is a perfect opportunity to teach her teenage son about moderation. Everything is OK in moderation, even mindless videogames. I think it's a cop-out as a parent to simply take away the Xbox, as you are not really solving the problem, you are simply avoiding it. It is very likely that at some point Tyler will be allowed to play again, however after being deprived for so long, why wouldn't he binge again? It's a natural human reaction after being deprived of something you love for so long. That's why any good diet will tell you that depriving your body of something it wants and needs is wrong.

What you do if this were your child? Would you take away the Xbox, and if so for how long?

Comments 4
Phil T's picture

Mother of the year

Tylerr Rietze's picture

If I had a child and it was the same age, I'd probably set up some sort of chore system which equals the amount of gaming that can be done, ESPECIALLY after something like this, but, I'd also demand a few lashings on my own wrist. Taking the Xbox away isn't the solution. If he can get addicted like THAT to gaming, just think of how susceptible he would be to more harmful things. Keep him away from those things, let him game, but control his gaming.

That said, I never had restrictions like that. Though, during summer at that age, I would play games from like 8-5, go to work, come home at 10, play till 1, bed, then repeat, but I never played till I had to be hospitalized lol

George Prax's picture

I'd take away the Xbox if that happened, but then again, I wouldn't let that happen to my child. As an avid game (and I'm sure the rest of us can say the same thing), I know my limits when it comes to gaming and the most I'll ever do in a marathon gaming session is MAYBE six or at worst eight hours, and that's not very often and still with frequent breaks. A teenager, especially one that clearly doesn't have a mother with proper parenting skills, might not know that and that's where being a parent comes in.

It's funny though that in 2012 we're still hearing about these things happening, I mean, parents are probably stupider, but you'd think they'd at least be a little tech savvy. If my kid's mouthing off or playing too much or something I'd just pull out his HDMI cables and hide them for a little while or something lol.

Then again, I could be saying all this and do something totally different when I ACTUALLY have to deal with raising a kid. I guess that's what happens.

Patrick Bach's picture

The answer is simple. All game consoles come with parental controls that allow you to set time limits. Limit your child to 1-3 hours max per day (depending on their age and school work).

You want to 'earn' more? Well why not make a game out of it? Send them on quests to complete extra chores that earn them 'XP' i.e extra time to play Smile