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Discussion Starter #1

It’s not often that I get upset by the news, but today is an exception.

A young woman from Florida has just pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of her baby son because he interrupted her FarmVille game with his crying.

Alexandra V. Tobias, a 22-year-old from Jacksonville, Florida, declared her plea on Wednesday before Circuit Judge Adrian G. Soud, according to a report in The Florida Times-Union.

Tobias was arrested in January. She reportedly told investigators that she shook the baby, smoked a cigarette “to compose herself”, then shook him again. She said the baby might have hit his head during one of the two shaking's. He was just Three months old.

Tobias is the one that killed her baby boy, not the developers at Zynga. FarmVille is a cooperative, non-violent game and one that withstands interruptions easily – the very antithesis of a first-person shooter. So on one level I don’t blame the game and I wonder if Tobias was suffering from severe post-natal depression.

On another level, it appalls me how truly addictive people seem to find FarmVille. This is the first report I’ve heard of this kind but there have been plenty of stories written about people who play it all day long, even losing their jobs and going into debt. I’m not a psychologist but I could imagine mindless addiction to a game like this – especially one that is so untaxing and repetitive – being a huge temptation for people who are depressed. And Frittering away hours on something so unproductive hardly does wonders for your self-esteem.

The vast majority of FarmVille players access the game through Facebook, where it has 61 million registered users – equivalent to the entire population of the United Kingdom. I’m sure most FarmVille players are just ordinary people passing a bit of time with a fun, animated game but, like any activity, there will be some who take it to excess.

I have no idea what Tobias is doing now (aside from her court appearances, that is). I hope she is not still playing FarmVille. But I can’t help thinking about how a young life has been lost and another one (the mother’s) permanently damaged.

I can only speculate about Tobias’ state of mind – aside from the fact that she looks so sad and lost in her mug shot (above). However, looking at the bigger picture, I know that depression is a real and serious illness. I hope any readers who experience the symptoms will seek help (your doctor is a good place to start), rather than let the situation spiral out of control.
Source: AllFacebook.com
 

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Bloody FarmVille. I told my girl friends they should play proper nasty violent video games instead of that shit.

But in all seriousness, infanticide is fucking bad enough as it is. Over a video game ... I lose faith in humanity. Damn.
 

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It's clear the girl has problems (PND or something, as suggested, or maybe it's deeper)... to pin the reasoning down to a game is fucking absurd. What has happened here is a young woman has cracked under whatever problem it was that was affecting her and killed her young child.

She could have been making toast at the time, or watching TV, or just trying to sleep - none of us would have connected those activities to wanting to murder children. So let's not make this into a "FARMVILLE MAKES MOTHERS KILL KIDS" debate.

Mentally sick mothers kill kids - sad but unfortunately true. This is just another tragic case where, as the writer suggests - a life has been ended and another ruined.
 

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Sigh.

Why are there so many fucking idiots in the world? Seriously, shaking and killing your baby over a Facebook application.

Hopefully people don't start following what Courage Wolf has to say.
 

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Hey in all fairness guys. Have you ever actually tried playing Farmville while a baby is screaming from the next room? Its fucking hard!!

Being serious, that is truly terrible and just another reason why I fucking hate people having kids when they shouldn't. What a waste.
 

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Farmville didn't do anything. If she wasn't addicted to that she'd be addicted to something else. It just sucks the fact a young life was taken as a result.
 

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I agree with the guys saying that FarmVille can't be the real problem here - or at least I sure hope not. It's obvious to me that in order to kill a life you created and carried with you for 9 months, you must have some real fucking problems in your life. But that doesn't excuse the useless whorebag for what she did. Rather than actually seek professional help for her problems, even if it meant her child being cared for until she was a fit parent herself, she just recklessly acted on an impulse and killed her own fucking child. And it's not as though it was in the heat of the moment. From the sounds of it, the baby was still alive, so what does she do? Smokes a quick one and goes back for Round 2.

God I despise these worthless excuses for human beings.
 

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It's clear the girl has problems (PND or something, as suggested, or maybe it's deeper)... to pin the reasoning down to a game is fucking absurd. What has happened here is a young woman has cracked under whatever problem it was that was affecting her and killed her young child.

She could have been making toast at the time, or watching TV, or just trying to sleep - none of us would have connected those activities to wanting to murder children. So let's not make this into a "FARMVILLE MAKES MOTHERS KILL KIDS" debate.

Mentally sick mothers kill kids - sad but unfortunately true. This is just another tragic case where, as the writer suggests - a life has been ended and another ruined.
Exactly. Unless you're willing to blame GTAIV or Scarface or whatever else for people's actions, you can't claim Farmville has responsibility here, despite operating in a fairly evil way.

It is, of course, a very upsetting and even disgusting story. Clearly there was a bigger issue there, be it her mental state, or the lack of the support it takes to raise another human being. It's always sad when someone doesn't even get the chance to start their life.
 
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