Here is the first part of an interesting article by the Associate Press.

Nev. Couple Blame Internet for Neglect

RENO, Nev. (AP) – A couple who authorities say were so obsessed with the Internet and video games that they left their babies starving and suffering other health problems have pleaded guilty to child neglect.

The children of Michael and Iana Straw, a boy age 22 months and a girl age 11 months, were severely malnourished and near death last month when doctors saw them after social workers took them to a hospital, authorities said. Both children are doing well and gaining weight in foster care, prosecutor Kelli Ann Viloria told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Michael Straw, 25, and Iana Straw, 23, pleaded guilty Friday to two counts each of child neglect. Each faces a maximum 12-year prison sentence.

Viloria said the Reno couple were too distracted by online video games, mainly the fantasy role-playing “Dungeons & Dragons” series, to give their children proper care.

“They had food; they just chose not to give it to their kids because they were too busy playing video games,” Viloria told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

It’s the Internet’s fault these kids were starved and mistreated! I don’t understand why they don’t specifically blame Turbine Games for putting together Dungeons & Dragons Online. While we’re at it, how about blaming Wizards of the Coast for the Dungeons & Dragons game itself? Or how about blaming Gary Gygax for coming up with Dungeons & Dragons in the first place? And hey, why isn’t Al Gore being blamed for inventing the Internet?

Or we could just blame the two parents.

I have a problem with the blaming the thing and not the person. The wine didn’t leap on its own into the person’s stomach — the person opened the bottle and drank. The knife didn’t move on its own into the shop owner — the person stabbed with it. The SUV didn’t rocket on its own past the speed limit — the person stomped on the accelerator.

Michael and Iana Straw should have the book tossed at them for their criminal neglect. If I were the judge, I’d be tempted to rule that they are unable to own or use a computer for anything other than a work-related activity.

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