I’m just going to leave this here.

A Jacksonville mother charged with shaking her baby to death has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Alexandra V. Tobias, 22, was arrested after the January death of 3-month-old Dylan Lee Edmondson. She told investigators she became angry because the baby was crying while she was playing a computer game called FarmVille on the Facebook social-networking website.

Tobias entered her plea Wednesday before Circuit Judge Adrian G. Soud. A second-degree murder charge is punishable by up to life in prison.

And then I’m going to point out that games are built using a combination of math, art, storytelling and psychiatry. The last one is especially true of persistent world games. We use systems like B.F. Skinner’s schedules of reinforcement to find the exact number of times a player will perform a tast – say watering their crops in Farmville – before you have to give them a reward. Encouraging the “Well, I’ll do just one more X before I quit” behavior the designer wants. And when we’ve done our jobs correctly, that last time is the time that gives you a reward, causing the player to either continue playing, or look forward to their next play experience. We give them cravings, essentially.

Persistent world games are built to give people a good feeling, and then make them want more of that feeling.

It is an intentionally, deliberately created method of addiction.

So, when you see things like the news story above, think about it in the same way you would when a crack addict burns her house down and kills her infant child.

Because they’re both the same story, of some one who succumbed to an addiction.

Only difference is one of them happens to be available at Best Buy and Walmart and on your kid’s Christmas list.