Father seeks computer ban on son

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The Independent Online
The father of a boy believed to have been made ill through his addiction to computer games has asked shop managers and amusement arcade owners to ban his son, writes Andrew Mourant.

Ross Newman, 11, from Bath, Avon, has become hooked on the games over the past two years. He used the computer that his father, Ray Newman, bought to help manage his business. Twice in recent months after long sessions on the computer Ross has become dizzy, and on one occasion needed hospital treatment.

After reports that two children from Cardiff hooked on computers suffered epileptic fits, it was disclosed that Baroness Denton, Under-Secretary of State for Consumer Affairs and Small Firms, would look informally at a possible link between time spent playing the games and epilepsy.

Mr Newman said: 'Ross was sick in his bedroom. His sister came to tell me but there seemed to be no response from him at all.'

Ross said: 'I know they are making me ill, but I just can't stop.' Mr Newman now forbids him to play the computer at home, but he plays at a friend's house.

Mr Newman said: 'When he was using our computer he wouldn't change out of his school clothes after he came home. He wouldn't have his tea unless he was forced to.'

A few days after receiving hospital treatment, Ross was found in Boots glued to a video game. Mr Newman said: 'I'm begging shops to ban him from playing these games. He needs help. I want staff to throw him out if ever they find him in there again.'

David Crow, manager of Boots' Bath branch, said: 'Ours is a large store and I have no knowledge of Ross. But we will certainly keep a look-out for him.'