On Aug. 8, 2003, three-year-old Brianna Cordell became trapped in her family's car and died from heat-related injuries. Two weeks later, her mother Christina Cordell was facing charges of manslaughter.

Springdale police detective Jeff Taylor: "We have cause to believe that there have been recent incidents where the child has been totally unsupervised. We also believe that on the day in question, Ms. Cordell was playing an Internet game, EverQuest, for a period of time exceeding two hours, during which she had no knowledge concerning the whereabouts of her daughter. It also appears this is not the first time the child was seen playing inside of a vehicle while unsupervised."

Before the tragedy, Christina Cordell was a frequent participant in the SpousesAgainstEverQuest mailing list.

Her posts:

July 10, 2002

From: Christina Cordell
Date: Wed Jul 10, 2002 10:51 pm
Subject: Re: [Spouses Against EverQuest] update to my situation & for s_t_a_r_l_o_v_e--a little long sorry

Why is the game not uninstalled? What's his excuse?

July 12, 2002

From: Christina Cordell
Date: Fri Jul 12, 2002 11:05 am
Subject: Re: [Spouses Against EverQuest] Re: update to my situation & for s_t_a_r_l_o_v_e--a little long sorry

Ask him. Sounds like to me it is like a pot user hanging on to that bong or pipe or whatever that is either just waiting for a weak moment to log back in (it's easy to start up your account again) or hasn't let go of it either consciously or unconsciously.

I've been a fairly big gamer off and on in my life (I'm a 35 year old woman), and if I were going to not play a game again, I'd uninstall it and reorganize my hard drive to speed it up.

I have seen time and time again people develop unrealistic attachments to other players on that game. My husband is an Obsessive Compulsive person as it is, and he too had a strange little thing going on with a 17 year old female player. However, when my character on the game was "proposed" to by a 20 year old man that I had been hunting with for months and was by all means one of the best players I've met and was always there for me to play with (when my husband that wouldn't work and continue to level his character while I was at work and leave me behind in levels making my warrior difficult to play since they are not a solo class), he got to feel what it was like to be suddenly "left out".

He became the jealous person and actually tried to become more like my online "boyfriend". Although I keep relationships in my opinion in check with reality, some do not. This same 20 year old man thinks he's in love with me and that I'm everything I'm not! Some times he gets really upset if I happen to play with anyone else or even with my own husband.

My husband decided that young girl was a pot-head and stupid (so he says lol I figured by the way he said her playing was one of the would get tired of playing together sooner or later), he told her he didn't want to play with her anymore. I still play with my now in-game "husband" but if I want to work on a skill or play with someone else, it's hell-to-pay.

I've mentioned this to other people I know on the game, and it's mostly the guys that admit to this type of "attachment" to the characters. I really don't think the people are falling for the players. The players are acting out their fantasies of what they'd like their lives to be or have more control over their situations, and in reality, they can't and they do not act or react like their characters when faced in real life situations (that could be a good thing too!

I can sit it now... a policeman pulls your spouse over and your spouse /d which is the command for dueling! LOL).

But I do agree that there are some very conniving players out there. Some of the most sly are the males that like to play female characters. I don't really understand this myself since I was tickled to play a game where I could be female, and I definitely wouldn't play a male character unless that was all there was to play. But men need to realize this: You could be messing around with another MALE! LOL My husband is one of those guys. He likes to play a female monk for some reason. And he has been know to say phrases or flirt (which to me is bazaar) with male characters to see how they react. He laughs at their reactions and is disgusted when one is open to his behavior. Then the tables are turned on him again! LOL

I hope my experiences with the game can help some of you. This game should NOT be played by people with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) or if that disease is suspected. If people are depressed, this is NOT the best game for them. A single player game would be much better if they have to play any game. No online intensive games at all would be what I suggest since they have trouble breaking away from it and try to develop relationships (which they really don't, so they are deceived).

I think the most hurtful part of these types of situations are that the addicted player is giving time, affection, and undivided attention to a stranger that is probably not what they think they are and are probably a total wreck in real life. Think about this: How much time is this "friend" of your spouse playing the game? Does this person work or go to school? If they are on nearly 24/7, they aren't working or going to school. If they are enrolled in school, they are going to flunk, and it will be a major hassle to ever get back into college too. If they were working and EQ came between that, losing their job from a game doesn't look good on a resume or a reference. Often times this person that is online more than longer than a person with a job or outside life does NOTHING but EQ. I don't know how they are being supported, but these people do nothing but play the game.

I like to take the pieces of these people's lives that they tell me about and dissect them and see if anything they say isn't logical to what they have already said. Nine out of ten times, the person is lying from the start and if you look closely at what they are saying and put the pieces of the puzzle together, you can see this clearly. Most men in general don't do this. I've done over ten years of analytical work and worked with trends so I pick this stuff up naturally. I usually have to point out their inconsistencies to my husband too.

Sadly, sometimes this game is nothing more than a huge online chat room and reminds me of mIRC. I try to level my character, get better gear, and do some quests. *shrug* And still the game doesn't end... being that I lose interest in repetitive tasks fairly easily, I'm not renewing my account when it runs out. hehe. When I told my in-game husband that, he freaked out and was wondering what game I would play next and that I had to tell him. No, I don't. I will probably do single player games next if I time. I'm going back to school in over a month to get my degree and become a database administrator and support my two kids since I can't count on a man to do it. I still have a foot in reality, and school WILL come first before the game. People just need to keep the real world in perspective and not forget what is the real reason to live.

Sera

Oct. 16, 2002

From: Christina Cordell
Date: Wed Oct 16, 2002 6:08 pm
Subject: Re: [Spouses Against EverQuest] this may not be popular...

Is there any real evidence that the fault lies within the relationship as a whole or is it from within the individuals themselves. Sadly, most of the people I have met on EQ have personality disorders that range from Obessive Compulsive to Bi-Polar disorders. These are not the only mental illnesses I've discovered that these people suffer. Responsibility of actions must come from within each person and not spread around with such vagueness.

Just my 2 cp.

Oct. 17, 2002 (post 1)

From: Christina Cordell
Date: Thu Oct 17, 2002 3:38 am
Subject: Re: [Spouses Against EverQuest] Re: this may not be popular...

EQ = Drugs = Alcohol = Porn What's the difference?

Oct. 17, 2002 (post 2)

From: Christina Cordell
Date: Thu Oct 17, 2002 3:41 am
Subject: Re: [Spouses Against EverQuest] Re: this may not be popular...

Sorry, I didn't respond sooner, but I had to log on and level tonight... it's just that compulsion to finish this darn game. Plus with all the idiotic men throwing themselves at me and willing to duel to "marry" my character, I just have to laugh my ass off at them.

But, I'm sure you'll be happy to note that Verant now has put an alarm into the game so people can have it ring when their "time is up". And along with this patch, they once again broke several things to the few things implemented...

I'd fire them if I owned them.

Oct. 30, 2002

From: Christina Cordell
Date: Wed Oct 30, 2002 12:18 pm
Subject: Re: [Spouses Against EverQuest] Re: New to group kinda long

I've actually met a guy on The Tribunal server that moved 1400 miles away to live with some woman he met online. I hope this gives you people out there ANY encouragment, hope, or some type of satisfaction, but that guy is MISERABLE. He made a huge mistake, he complains to me, and he regrets his decision. I'm not sure if there was a wife and family involved, but he's living in some studio where he works now and is split from his online lover.

As he put it, she was NOTHING like she was online. She herself was an online fantasy given life from sexy "toons" and a dream personality that was nothing more than smoke. This is not the first instance I've heard of this happening, but it is the first time I've talked to a guy that experienced it. In fact, I have not known ONE SINGLE case where the new relationship worked out.

With the instant-gratification generation we are living in today and with the lack of patience pointed out statistically in the astounding rates in divorce, those strangers don't have a chance. The two online people get together with unrealistic views, NOTHING TANGILBE in common, and they expect to carry on in real life like in EQ... It's doomed from the beginning.

March 2, 2003

From: Christina Cordell
Date: Sun Mar 2, 2003 6:27 pm
Subject: Re: [Spouses Against EverQuest] Re: EQ sucks!

Yup, I wish I had... after the baby was born (he beat me up while I was pregnant), things didn't get any better. Of course, he ALWAYS had and excuse with why he couldn't work (I was working 8-12 hours a day then coming home and working until I dropped), why he didn't want much to do with the kids or me, and then came EQ. It became his obsession. In a way, I was glad because he wasn't focused on destroying my life as much anymore, but I wanted out.

Finally, he crossed the line and beat our 2 year old little girl. I called the police. Wish I had sooner to get rid of him. I'm in the process of a divorce now after over a year of separation and am happier than ever.

Although EQ may have only been a symptom of a cause, it definately doesn't lessen it. It amplies it. I wish some day the makers of it would assume responsibility for some of what they do. But they won't (that's bad business and that's what the bottom line is to them, they could care less about their players).

If anyone want to email me to talk, cry, or just need me to listen, please feel free to. I'm a survivor of this game. And I don't miss that thing I use to call my husband.

Sera

May 2, 2003

From: Christina Cordell
Date: Fri May 2, 2003 3:43 am
Subject: Re: [Spouses Against EverQuest] (unknown)

When he gets his account closed because he's violating their policy. Sony has strict rules against that now and will shut them down if reported... hint hint...

May 4, 2003

From: Christina Cordell
Date: Sun May 4, 2003 1:29 pm
Subject: Re: [Spouses Against EverQuest] Lost In An EQ Dire

Sadly enough, she will have to realize (it can be pointed out though but probably better by someone within the game she trusts) that the game is a waste. She will never be "uber" enough. They will always come out with another expansion and raise levels and make the mobs harder. The 50's are in my opinion the hardest to get through. It can take months to get through them without an "uber guild" to equip and hold your hand through them. However, it can take those same people 3 days to go from 60 to 65 (with their zillion AA points and all...). Some of those people do NOT have a life.

I feel sorry that people get wrapped up into this and destroy their relationships. I just hope that one day they will wake up before it's too late and realize they are alone with no real friends and their family is gone.

June 27, 2003

From: Christina Cordell
Date: Fri Jun 27, 2003 10:56 pm
Subject: Re: [Spouses Against EverQuest] Need advice- military spouse addicted to Everque

So, what did you do finally?

Concerning my "dead ass" husband that wouldn't work even after I lost my job, I found myself a REAL man, went back to finish my degree, and our divorce should be final July 1. This is the happiest I've been in years, and my kids have a better father than they had before. "Dead Ass" still doesn't understand why I divorced him even after countless of EQ whores he was with and spending time he should have been with me. And worse, after the times he SHOULD have spent with his only child. But he was always too busy because of some "raid". He freaking raided nightly and daily. Hell, had to put a porta potty under his fat ass since he wouldn't move practically.

Glad he's gone, you people should get control of your situation and cut off his electricity (that'll get the dead asses out there moving when they can't power up their machines) move out and find yourselves real people to enjoy and spend your life with. Life is too short to be miserable with a loser. Trust me. I wasted too many years with this one.

You do NOT deserve to be treated like that or disrespected as they are doing you. How DARE them? Don't allow them to string you along as they are doing. Take control. Take your life back and don't allow them to destroy you emotionally. They aren't worth it.

*big hugs to you all*

Love,

Christina
A Survivor of EQ Addiction

-- Rogers Cadenhead