Game Obsessed Woman Neglects Children, Kills Dogs

When officers arrived at a house in Swanley, Kent, earlier this year to investigate appalling conditions reported by a neighbor, the game obsessed homeowner's two dogs had been decomposing in the dining room for two months.

The unidentified 33-year-old widow living at the residence with her three children tried to bar officers from entering the dining room, where her German Shepherd and lurcher dogs had been left after starving to death months before. The rest of the house was in horrible shape. Garbage littered the floor, including molding food. Swarms of flies bred in the refuse.

The woman's three children, aged nine, 10 and 13 had been neglected as well over the course of six months, forced to eat only food that didn't have to be cooked, including beans directly from tins without the aid of utensils.

According to prosecutor Deepak Kapur, the disgusting mess and horrific neglect were the direct result of the woman's obsession with a video game. The Telegraph.co.uk article describes it as a game of fantasy battles.

The mother had become hooked on the computer game featuring dwarves and giants and in which players vie for conquest and control of a world that is simply too small to accommodate them all, after an invitation from a friend on Facebook.

This describes the board game SmallWorld from Days of Wonder, which doesn't have a PC version, only iPad. More likely the game the woman was obsessed with is SmallWorlds, a social Facebook MMO.

Whichever game she was playing, she was playing it nonstop.

She started playing initially for an hour a day in late 2009 but since August of that year it had become an obsession to the point where she was only getting two hours sleep a night, said Mr. Kapur.

Her defense attorney, Allan Compton, says the woman was a fine mother until her husband died tragically two years ago.

"She retreated into this virtual world provided by her laptop computer," he said. "She shut herself off from the outside world and operated in the real world on a very basic level."

The woman admitted three charges of child cruelty and two of animal neglect. She was given six months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 75 hours of community service.

And just in case the urge to play crops up again, she is banned from internet access, as well as prohibited from owning animals.

Woman obsessed with computer game left children to eat cold baked beans [Telegraph.co.uk - thanks TheRevanchist2]