I'm in a bit of a Warcraft mood today, possibly due to the reams of interesting news tidbits that are flowing through my monitor.
Like this one: A 16-year-old Canadian boy ran away from home to be with his soulmate, a 42-year-old woman he'd met while playing World of Warcraft.
The story goes that Andrew Kane asked his parents if they wouldn't mind driving him to a hotel near his hometown, where he wanted to meet up with Lauri Price, a Texas mother of four. Andrew explained that he planned on spending the rest of the holidays with her.
Understandably, mum and dad said no, which Andrew seemed to accept as an answer, going back to his computer to "let the woman know he wasn't coming".
Boys will be boys, however, and at 2am his parents were woken by the noise of their son leaving the house. He'd taken his laptop and left a note:
"I don't know how to explain it to you, but this will show you not only the commitment we have to each other, but also that your fears of her are ill found..."
Andrew's parents didn't hesitate in getting the police involved, as his mother explains:
"All (the police) had to do was read the chat logs and they were immediately concerned.
"He said she was his soulmate."
These chat logs were on the Kane family's shared computer, which Andrew's mum had discovered more than a year ago, her first tip-off to Andrew and Ms Price's relationship.
According to police, this was not the first romantic entanglement started in WoW for Ms Price - although it was her first with a minor. Andrew had promised his parents that he would never share personal information online, and hadn't spoken of the relationship for more than eight months.
That all changed, when Ms Price celebrated her holidays by flying to Ontario to meet Andrew face-to-face for the first time. After spending two days together, a public tip-off lead to the couple being found while out shopping, but neither person showed any remorse.
Ms Price will not face any criminal charges, as the age of consent in Canada is 16, and Andrew had told her that he was 20 years old.
This is the latest - and most serious - incident in a series of family problems relating to World of Warcraft. Andrew's mother claims that her son spends "every waking hour" logged into Azeroth, to the extent that he rarely attended classes.
The issue got to a point where his parents took the computer away for a month, putting him into a counselling program. Observing his progress, Andrew's psychologist suggested that his computer privileges be reinstated.
Andrew's mother ponders:
"It turned out to be not so great advice.
"We thought he was managing it well, but eventually he was back to his old habits."
Source: The Globe and Mail