Nevada Couple Blames Online Gaming For Child Neglect

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
Nevada Couple Blames Online Gaming For Child Neglect

A Nevada couple is claiming []that videogame obsession caused them to neglect their two children, leaving them malnourished and suffering other health problems.

Michael and Iana Straw have each pleaded guilty to two counts of child neglect. They say they were too distracted by online games, particularly Reno Gazette-Journal [], "They had food, they just chose not to give it to their kids because they were too busy playing videogames."

Their son, 22 months old, was treated for starvation and a genital infection, and police said his lack of muscle development had caused him difficulty in walking. His 11-month-old sister had a mouth infection, dry skin and severe dehydration, and her head had to be shaved because her hair was matted with cat urine.

Nevada Child Abuse Prevention spokesman Patrick Killen said, "As we become more technologically advanced, there's more distractions. It's easy for someone to get addicted to something and neglect their children. Whether it's videogames or meth, it's a serious issue, and we need to become more aware of it."

The Straws each face a maximum 12-year sentence. According to Viloria, their children have been placed in foster care, where they are gaining weight and doing well.

Apr 19, 2007
Are you kidding me?

This Patrick Killen fellow needs to tune in. These parents weren't distracted or addicted to video games--and even if a case can be made they were it is not the fault of game. The Straws have no defence outside of sheer neglect, unwillingness to take responsibilty for thier children, and plain old abuse.

These two should be examined for serious mental issues--and video game addiction, but rather for anti-social ability to see what is right and wrong. Thier (in)action toward the care of thier children is nothing more than socio-pathic torture of the infants in question.

I don't care how much I am into a game of WoW, if my wife needs me, my dog needs to go out, or the cat is urinating on my child's head (I don't have child but...), you're damn right I am going to stop and (more than likely) scare 2-3 lives out of the cat.


May 1, 2008
I understand games can be an addiction, and I have personally skipped a meal or two while playing a game.... But to take it to the level of neglecting a child? REALLY?!?!? At that point you are sick and need mental treatment.