Cody Wygant, a father in Orlando, admitted to suffocating his crying baby boy so he could continue playing video games. The baby was crying around 1am and the father covered the baby’s mouth and nose for three to four minutes. The baby became lethargic after that, so he put the baby in a playpen and covered him with multiple blankets, including covering his face, and left him. He played video games and watched TV, and when he checked on him four or five hours later, the baby was not breathing and was unable to be resuscitated.
“During an interview with investigators, Wygant confessed that he suffocated his son to be able to play video games, the sheriff's office said…Wygant told investigators that he was the only person with his son between 1 and 8:15 a.m., and he also told investigators that he was the primary caregiver for the child.” (1) Autopsy results have not been released yet. The father has no job and has significant criminal history in California, with rape and trespassing as part of his record.
Violence in gaming addicts is common. When an addict is interrupted from the “high” they are experiencing during an intense gaming session, they often become angry and act out. This is likely what happened with this father and his young child. The child woke up, needed attention, and the father was unable to give it, because he was immersed in a game. Anger from being interrupted overtook this man, made him act irrationally, and now, a baby is dead.
Gaming addiction and the violence that comes with individuals addicted to games is very real and can have devastating and as seen here, deadly consequences. If you or someone you know is addicted to games or technology, seek help immediately.
By Brooke Strickland and Andrew Doan MD PhD
1) “Florida man suffocated crying son to play Xbox video games, deputies allege.” Orlando Sentinel. News Service of Florida. April 18, 2014. Accessed online April 18, 2014. http://touch.orlandosentinel.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-79951540/
Dr. Doan explains how the Tetris Effect, Gaming Addiction, Violent Games, and Mental Instability may lead to severe violent behaviors.