Microsoft Corp. has donated $25,000 to the award for the return of 15-year-old Brandon Crisp, who was apparently obsessed with the Xbox game Call Of Duty 4.
The Barrie, Ontario teen disappeared after running away from home when his parents banned him from using the game console. It’s feared he is being held against his will by someone he met while playing the game online. The story has caused a deluge of discussion about youth and video games, parental supervision and online safety.
A wise move by Microsoft, then, to publicly display their concern for gaming addiction among what’s probably still their largest core base. The software giant is also helping track down the more than 200 gamers Brandon had tagged on his Xbox, as it’s suspected one of those people lured him away.
The donation doubles the award to $50,000.
I’m a firm believer in blaming the addiction rather than the object of it, so I personally find it makes no sense to blame Microsoft for any of this. I also know that many people don’t see it that way.
Microsoft clearly wants to show that gaming and the Xbox can be a part of a normal teen lifestyle, so the donation-and their full support in tracing the gamers on Brandon’s list-will make great strides towards convincing naysayers.
Here’s hoping their efforts lead to Brandon’s safe return.[ad]