Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4 Multiplayer "a Sad Place"

December 18, 2008 -

The tragic death of Canadian teen Brandon Crisp was easily gaming's saddest story of 2008.

In a sense, it was also one of the most frustrating stories for gamers as they watched their hobby maligned publicly, yet again. For several weeks in October and November, mainstream media reports fueled speculation that Brandon, a dedicated - perhaps even compulsive - Call of Duty 4 gamer, had been abducted by someone he met on Xbox Live.

Early on in the case there was even the highly improbable suggestion that Brandon had left home to join a professional gaming league. This was, perhaps, the modern equivalent of a 19th century child running away to join the circus.

Throughout the investigation and its aftermath, the notion that Brandon was addicted to Call of Duty 4 remained a constant theme. Not written about much, but just as likely, was the fact that Brandon was experiencing the same issues that plague many adolescents: difficulty in finding one's place and conflicts with parents.

In the end, Brandon was found dead not far from home. A coroner ruled that he likely fell from a tree soon after running away.

Now that a bit of time has passed since Brandon's death, Canadian journalist Jesse Brown takes a retrospective look at the case for his CBC Radio podcast. Unfortunately, what Brown ultimately serves up is a blanket condemnation of Call of Duty 4 multiplayer.

Brown, a non-gamer, spent time playing CoD4 and recording his impressions. In the end he was seemingly put off by the trash talk on Xbox Live. Hey, who isn't, from time to time? But there are ways to deal with XBL jerks that don't involve condemning the entire CoD4 experience, as Brown unfortunately does in his wrap-up:

Brandon Crisp played video games compulsively and Brandon Crisp died in the woods after falling from a tree. And those two things might not have anything at all to do with each other.

But as I played Call of Duty 4 late at night, crouching in a digital simulation of a snowy field and then collapsing in the leaves as a stranger somewhere in the world pushed a button and cursed in my ear, it was eerie to think that Brandon Crisp was here too, virtually killing and virtually dying thousands of times.

 

This world is a sad place and it's awful that Brandon Crisp spent so much of his time here when he had so little to spend.

What Brown doesn't get is that CoD4 may have become for Brandon a place where he could fit in, have fun and enjoy a sense of community and accomplishment.

GP: Thanks to GP reader Joseph M for the heads-up...

Comments

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

The fact of life is that everyone has an opinion.

Sadly we are just one of the few sub-cultures that are verbally and socially attacked by other people's opinions all because they just don't understand gamers like us.

Sure the online gaming community may be as hostile but it is nothing like the school yard where bullies can physically kick and bash you.

But sadly no one ever understands us.

 

I think the journalist here had already made up their opinion and decided to bash videogames in the aftermath and reflection of this sad story.

 

TBoneTony

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

Sadly there are a lot of assholes online but to judge the whole community based on a few immature jerks is unfair. There are a lot of people who don't use racial slurs or curse out thier opponents when they lose and there is a mute option for those who do.

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

Someone who's never grown up with video games can't really judge an entire communtiy who has. They just don't understand.

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

Is that in the Game of the Year Edition or one of the map packs?  I do not recall a snowy level in multiplayer, let alone in single player.
But a snowy level is always cool in my books.  I loved the feel of silence in a map like that...

To be honest, I can see where he is coming from.  I was eased into the online scene thankfully.  Joined a fantastic clan back on SOCOM 2, and while I had extreme amounts of fun, there were some jerks would would jump in from time to time.  And one of the clan mates had the biggest mouth in the world and would curse everyone out...but you couldn't not laugh at him.  Sometimes he'd come up with a coherant sentence but it was just nonsense and made coming back to play with him more fun.
When a clan mate commited suicide and a few people outside of our clan knew, they would come in and make fun of him for doing just that.  We'd kick them out of our rooms or ban them, but they'd come back after we set-up a whole new room, and continue.

You need to experience the gaming community before you can really call it a bad place.  It's just like school, and you gotta find your place in the game (or the game that you like).

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

I don't get how he can use his sessions of playing the game as a credible source for the experience that everyone else must be having all the time.  The people who trash talk aren't really taken seriously anyway.  I mean, I remember when we got our first computer with windows on it and it had aol.  I got onto a chat room for the first time and was insulted and made fun of. 

But I didn't go and assume that aol chat rooms were a sad, mean place and never get in one again.  I tried again and found nice, interesting people to chat with and had a great time.  Sure, sometimes I would have bad experiences, but the moments were few and far. 

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

Hey there Sarah! Haven't seen you around lately! Good to have you back!

(Not hitting, just welcoming back.)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

That you even have to qualify your comment like that is creepy.

-ConstantNeophyte: always the newb, ALWAYS.

-ConstantNeophyte: always the newb, ALWAYS.

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

Don't be too hard on the kid, maybe he's just used to having to do that with women in real life.

"There is no sin except stupidity." - Oscar Wilde

"De minimus non curat lex"

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

Nah, I'm too used to people assuming such posts as me hitting on the girl. I do that to make sure they get the point.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

Right.  Perhaps that's because you're the only one who goes all googly-eyed and slobbery whenever someone with a female username appears.  They could be dudes for all you know.

"There is no sin except stupidity." - Oscar Wilde

"De minimus non curat lex"

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

(Reflection)

Turns out one of the girls I met was a futanari. 

-----------------------------



"The sun will always rise tomorrow. We can only live for today, and hope more days will come." -Unknown

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

No, it's me, Strauss, huddled in my swank Gotham digs, wondering when my reputation will be tarnished irretrievably by blowing this one.

I wish I had in fact listened to Jack Thompson.  Turns out he was right when he predicted the EA offer was too high.  Oh, well, he's disbarred, and I'm not.  I'm very smart, you know.  Strauss 

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

My God, Jack's finally snapped.  Knew it was coming sooner or later, really.

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

I was going to go watch "Attack of the Wannabe Lawyer" on cable, but I see GP's already showing the webcast.

"There is no sin except stupidity." - Oscar Wilde

"De minimus non curat lex"

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

guys im pretty sure this isnt JT

He learned his lesson the hard way, hence his lack of posting recently.

And this is a little too random and off topic even for JT.

 

 

 

 

 

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

There are no limits for Jack. True, I think this guys a fake pretending to be Strauss, but I would not be surprised if it turns out it is Jack.

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"Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

Hmmm... looking at the posts, i don't know, this could go either way. If it were purely an anonymous joke account, it wouldn't be so hard to differentiate from JT's usual rants... he brings up his infamous 'I made the T2 stock fall, not the global recession' bullcrap again.

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

Awwwwww, Someone needs a hug

*gives a great big ole manhug and a pat on the back*

There there... It'll be alright.

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

Just another poser in a long line of posers trying to get his jollies off by pretending to be the almighty internet troll himself...

Sortableturnip's Law: As an online discussion of video game violence grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Jack Thompson approaches 1

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

I may agree about 'only Jack Thompson would regret not listening to Jack Thompson,' but this is getting beside the point.

I don't like the idea of blame the video games. Since when the crap is falling from a tree linked to gaming? (Haven't played COD4.)

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

1. You are obviously Thompson as he doesn't know what a reply button does.

2. Only Jack Thompson would regret someone not listening to Jack Thompson

3. You have never been able to resist making fun of Mr. Zelnick, you're obviously addicted.

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

4. Thompson never uses the Shift key in his usernames, esp when he uses other people's names

岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

I'm very sorry the boy died , but I have to disagree as to what is the saddest video game story of 2008.

I think the most tragic tale is that I had a chance to sell Take-Two to EA for $27 per share, and I decided it was worth more than that.

Now, today, Take-Two stock has crashed further to below $9 a share.  Now, that is a tragedy, because I look like an idiot.  Who would have thought that Take-Two would look back upon Paul Eibler as part of the "good old days."

Maybe Take-Two can get a bailout.  Hey, there's an idea.  I'll ring up Barney Frank.  Ciao, Strauss Zelnick

 

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

*double posted*

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

I don't think anyone actually said this was the saddest video game story of the year...

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

Maybe you are Jack, maybe not.  But the point remains that not every game comparny wants to get sucked into the devouring malignant tumor known as EA.  So far far too many companies have been ruined by their influence.  Avoiding them at all costs was a smart move by T2.

-Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person's fear of their own freedom-

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

Why do you think he was so quick to sell off his supposed share?

I think he knows what EA does to good companies, and it suited his vendetta perfectly.

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

in all fairness i have NEVER seen JT use an emoticon before EVER.

I dont think its him.

 

Plus.. it doesnt sound like him

 

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

Actually, he has. Numerous times before. In fact, he used a kiss emoticon a while back that was really creepy.

I'm not sure which articles he used them in (because I'm too lazy to look), but if you want, you could go sifting through the past articles and see for yourself. But I know he has used them before.

Game on, brothers and sisters.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------ "Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither." -- Ben Franklin Game on, brothers and sisters.

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

That can easily get you arrested for fraud Thompson.

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

 

Can we get an IP check on this? Pretty certain it's Jack ;)

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

JT wouldn't know an emoticon if it raped him through the pants.

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

Best post in this thread. Not that it was hard with all the whingy bitches further up.

-ConstantNeophyte: always the newb, ALWAYS.

-ConstantNeophyte: always the newb, ALWAYS.

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

Either I'm having trouble finding the "next page" link for the comments, my post there wasn't approved, or they cut off adding comments early on.

Either way, this is the comment I put up there:

I, myself, have made many comments regarding the specific case of Brandon Crisp and the alleged attempt to scapegoat blame to XBL and COD4.  I've also made numerous comments regarding Parental Responsibility and the clear lack of it in this specific case.  As a regular poster at gamepolitics.com (as nightwng2000), I have plenty of rather blunt and brutal things to say in such regards so it's best you look up my opinions there on that situation.

On the issue of language and treatment in XBL, I'm reminded of AOL.  In the very early days, it's was, for the most part, rather congenial.  Especially in the general public areas.  But, over the years, the public chats especially degenerated severely.  In any particular general public chat room, you'd see repetitive "age, sex check" lines, sometimes as many as 20 in a mere minute.  While forums and blogs and the like suffer trolls from time to time, chat rooms became far less popular.  Mostly because of lack of real time moderation.  The same is becoming true of the voice chat capabilities.

While I'm DEFINITELY no prude, it does get boring.  Even sitting on the bus and hearing someone loudly talking with a curse word every other word in a 5 minute story is annoying.

In addition, COD4 is the equivilant of a rated R war movie.  Try turning Platoon or Patton into rated G. 

If you don't have much interest or experience in online gaming, then your story is going to be like an Agnostic wanting to do a story on Christianity and choosing a hardcore Chrisitian church only about 2 steps down from Fred Phelp's church.  You can't get a proper realistic view of the whole community from a single experience.  Especially a single NEGATIVE experience.

We should also note that socializing in online games like COD4, WoW, or even XBL Arcade Board games is STILL socializing.  Just as much as going to Pogo.com, playing a game, and chatting in the chat box or even getting together with a large number of people live for charades, Twister, or even Laser Tag.  It's still socializing, whether online or offline.

I also note that YOU didn't socialize.  You hid.  Not actually socializing.  Are you anti-social?  :)    Seriously, though, you didn't participate.  So you didn't get a thorough experience.

If you don't like, or are not interested in,  rap, you can't exactly insert yourself into the rap community.

If you don't like, or are not interested in, the romance genre, you won't understand people who DO like the romance genre.

If you don't like, or are not interested in, mountain climbing, you won't understand the segment of the community that does.

Move on with the things you like.  Give things you want to try out a REAL chance and either like them or move on. 

Personally, I don't EVER want to try escargot.  But that doesn't mean that those folks who do are "bad" people.  Just insane.  :)

Andrew

Nightwng2000

NW2K Software

Nightwng2000 has also updated his MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

The date on the latest comment is the 17th.  I don't think they are approving any more comments.

 

http://www.popularculturegaming.com

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

It is sad to hear Crisp's father on there talk about his son and put so much emphasis on the videogame when, even from the few things he said, it is clear that videogames were a way for the boy to deal with issues rather than being an issue in and of itself. 

As someone who researches videogame players I have to take issue with the depiction of them within this piece.  If someone who had never had any experience with playing basketball or with basketball culture were to do a similar piece it seems easy to imagine that it would come out just as negative.  After all, trash talking didn't start with videogames and has long been an established part of sports such as basketball. 

I also strongly disagree with the notion that people are someone different online.  The old cliche that "no one knows you are a dog online" is little more than just that: a cliche.  Are basketball players someone different on the court than off it?  Yes there is trash talk and yes there is a great deal of homophobic, racist, and sexist talk online but is that all there is?  Certainly there has to be more to the experience than that or people wouldn't participate in it.  I've observed and interviewed numerous gamers and have yet to find someone who was totally different in a game and outside of it.  Certain aspects may be emphasized in game and other aspects emphasized out of the game but it isn't some 21st century version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Finally, while some have mentioned the music, for me, the Brown's tone was more melodramatic.  Compare his town throughout the piece with the tone in the tag at the end where he talks about how to contact him and the next show.  Yes the piece was about the tragic death of a person but there were entire sections where it was about Brown's experiences playing and that somber tone seemed much more about conveying how bad playing this game was than it was about being respectful.

 

http://www.popularculturegaming.com

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

Jeez fella overdramatic much? It's a just freaking game, dumb***. And if you can't take a few insults then how are you gonna make it through life?

It sucks that the kid died but it also sucks that non gamers are still so damn ignorant.

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

If he had played any other game he would have had the same results.

If he had palyed a single player only game, say Bioshock, the result MIGHT have been slightly different.

Re: Journalist Reflects on Brandon Crisp Case, Terms CoD 4

1. I want that map pack, love snow field maps. Don't know why, just like the eerie whiteout conditions you get. Makes it pretty tense. Anybody know how this guy apparently unlocked a hidden map?

2. Boo hoo someone cursed at you? Have you ever played ANY sport? People curse

3. Hey, dude, maybe Brandon was good.

4. Cut the melodrama "Symbollically killing and dying thousands of times." Well buddy, thousands of people play that game and so far we don't have a rash of teen suicide because of it.

I mean this is the most melodramatic, overblown piece of crap "journalism" I've ever read.

The kid had issues,  no question. But stop trying to blame the damn game. It wasn't responsible.

There were myriad problems here, compulsive behavior, lack of supervision, lack of boundaries etc.

God-fucking-dammit...

*FACEPALM*


Search your feelings, you know it's right.

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"Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: God-fucking-dammit...

Ugh, I think we may need to get the admins involved here.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: God-fucking-dammit...

Thanks for your insightful one-word imput.

Re: God-fucking-dammit...

That sarcasm?

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: God-fucking-dammit...

 No, there are plenty of people who think you're fucking useless as a commentator on this site, but are simply nicer than me. I have no problem standing at the forefront of your public embarassment.

Re: God-fucking-dammit...

See his forum intro thread for great hilarity.

Re: God-fucking-dammit...

Oh, look, the other Troll has appeared. Hi, Mr. Other Troll!

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: God-fucking-dammit...

It seems pretty clear to me that regardless of if I'm emo for doing a FacePalm, Derovius will always be a Troll due to his reaction.

And Zel's right, Dero...

 

YOU FAIL.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

 

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: God-fucking-dammit...

*nods*

Re: God-fucking-dammit...

 Oh look, an emo kid. Hi emo kid.

 
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Papa MidnightIt's hard to drape yourself in the glory of your righteous campaign when you're exposing the personal information of a person, and following up with a campaign of harassment (organised or ortherwise). 12 year olds calling your personal cell for Five Guys?10/02/2014 - 9:58am
prh99http://kotaku.com/anna-anthropy-designer-behind-dys4ia-and-triad-and-au-1448084641 <--relationship disclosed10/02/2014 - 9:57am
Papa MidnightEven to this day, that remains the primary citation of those embarking in it. That said, the whole "it's not about harrassment" thing is comparable to making an extremely racist statement, then following up by saying "but I'm not a racist."10/02/2014 - 9:56am
Papa MidnightI think EZK is more spot-on. This may have carried on far beyond it's genesis, but the true driving force of this whole astroturfing campaign was the angst of an ex-boyfriend of Zoe Quinn's.10/02/2014 - 9:54am
KronoAnd that's off the top of my head, specific to Kotaku.10/02/2014 - 9:54am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, yet no one can actually point at any "positive reviews" or otehr press given Quinn by Grayson.10/02/2014 - 9:53am
KronoBeyond that you have Patricia Hernandez writing reviews for, and plugging Anna Anthropy's work. Anna being Patricia's friend and former roomate.10/02/2014 - 9:52am
Sleaker@EZK - I believe there were a few more related to Patreon, and IGF. But regardless of the disclosure thing, that was only half of my statement, and I'm simply trying to speak on the reasons why GG got popular. But you sidestepped my last question there...10/02/2014 - 9:50am
KronoThe only questions is whether or you believe Grayson's previous friendship with her, and possible interest in starting a romance influenced his reporting.10/02/2014 - 9:48am
Krono@EZK There's nothing supposed about Grayson and Quinn having a relationship. Kotaku itself confirmed said romance matching the timeline Eron posted: http://goo.gl/yLgdx910/02/2014 - 9:46am
prh99So far the only "crimes" seem to be editorializing and collaboration outside their respective organizations. If they are going to persist at least point to something actually questionable.10/02/2014 - 9:45am
E. Zachary KnightSo aside from the supposed Kotaku/Quinn relationship, do you have a specific example of said lack of disclosure?10/02/2014 - 9:36am
prh99#gamergate renamed #butthurtfarce10/02/2014 - 9:31am
Sleakerwhat the message that they are actually trying to convey is.10/02/2014 - 9:30am
Sleakerthe fault of the journalist? If a large number of people read these articles and all came to the same conclusion that Gamers were being attacked by journalists as a whole, then it seems the burden of journalists to do a better job of explaining...10/02/2014 - 9:29am
Sleaker@EZK - It's not a surprise that articles came out. The surprise is when journalists fail to disclose relationships as they write about the trends, and the content by which the articles contain. Perhaps a large portion was misinterpreted, but isn't that10/02/2014 - 9:28am
prh99It definitely prolonged it, we wouldn't be hearing about Intel if not for Gamers are over/dead. Just additional wood for the fire.10/02/2014 - 9:23am
E. Zachary KnightConster, which sites associated "ALL" gamers with the harassment?10/02/2014 - 9:22am
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