It’s game over for a 14-year-old Roxbury boy, whose overwhelmed mother was so exasperated with his incessant video game playing that she called the cops on him.
The final straw for Angela Mejia snapped at 2:30 a.m. Saturday when, “I woke up in the middle of the night and saw the light on in his bedroom,” hours after she had told him to go to sleep.
“Sometimes I want to run away, too,” Mejia said, breaking down in tears in her immaculate apartment. “I have support from my church, but I’m alone. I want to help my son, but I can’t find a way.”
Mejia is among thousands of parents struggling with today’s video-game obsessed youth. The Entertainment Software Association reports the popularity of video games is skyrocketing, with 42 percent of adults intending to give, or hoping to find one in their Christmas stocking this week.
Mejia’s son - one of four children the 49-year-old is raising alone - was playing “Grand Theft Auto,” an exceedingly violent video in which the gamer assumes the role of ladder-climbing criminal.
An argument ensued as Mejia unplugged her son’s PlayStation. Then, this mad-as-hell mother dialed 911. Police responded and managed to talk the boy into shutting off the game and going to sleep.
“They (police) were just like, ‘Chill out. Go to bed,’ ” the boy told the Herald.
Mejia said she approves of athletic-themed videos, but as for “Grand Theft Auto,” she said, “I would never buy that kind of video. No way. I called (police) because if you don’t respect your mother, what are you going to do in your life?”
Is this bad parenting or excellent marketing? Is this how you want to become famous? To be a hardcore gamer ups your cred out there in the gaming world. To be able to brag that "my moms had to drop a dime on me and get Johnny Law to shut down my rig" confers status upon a young gamer.
If you own the Grand Theft Auto franchise, to have someone play your game to the point where a mother has to plead for help to the media and to the police to get her son to turn the game off, well, on the day before Christmas Eve, that's like being handed a candy cane with a billion dollars stuck to it. This story was so compelling (and, let's face it, the news is just another marketing tool), CNN has named the mother an "intriguing" person.
This is how CNN defines "intriguing" for us:
There are people who enter the news cycle every day because their actions or decisions are new, important or different. Others are in the news because they are the ones those decisions affect. And there are a number of people who are so famous or controversial that anything they say or do becomes news.
Some of these people do what we expect of them: They run for office, pass legislation, start a business, get hired or fired, commit a crime, make an arrest, get in accidents, hit a home run, overthrow a government, fight wars, sue an opponent, put out fires, prepare for hurricanes and cavort with people other than their spouses. They do make news, but the action is usually more important than who is involved in the story.
But every day there are a number of people who become fascinating to us -- by virtue of their character, how they reached their decision, how they behaved under pressure or because of the remarkable circumstances surrounding the event they are involved in.
They arouse our curiosity. We hear about them and want to know more. What they have done or said stimulates conversations across the country. At times, there is even a mystery about them. What they have done may be unique, heroic, cowardly or ghastly, but they capture our imaginations. We want to know what makes them tick, why they believe what they do and why they did what they did. They intrigue us.
Being pathetic is intriguing? Or is this really about helping a sponsor sell some video games?