Don't miss




Britain-EU clash over border policy, Philippine president announces 'separation' from the US (part 2)

Read more


The battle for Mosul, Trump's rigged election talk (part 1)

Read more


How France is facing the migrant crisis

Read more


Contempory art fever takes over the city of light

Read more


Hannah Starkey, a female perspective on both sides of the lens

Read more


Revisiting a dark chapter in France and Cameroon's history

Read more

#TECH 24

Facebook on the frontline

Read more


Iraqi foreign minister warns retaking Mosul 'does not mean end of terrorism'

Read more

#THE 51%

The Trump effect: Sexism scandals put gender on the map in US election

Read more

Microsoft to offer reward for missing gamer

Text by AFP

Latest update : 2008-10-29

Young Canadian Brandon Crisp, 15, took off from home after his parents took away his Xbox 360. The game's constructor Microsoft announced it would give a $19,500-dollar US to whoever found him.

US software behemoth Microsoft has doubled a cash reward for information on the whereabouts of a Canadian boy who ran away from home after his father took away his Xbox game console, it said Tuesday.

Brandon Crisp, 15, took off on his bicycle from his Barrie, Ontario home on October 13 -- Canada's Thanksgiving holiday -- and rode east along an old rail line.

He has not been seen since.

His father told local media he had removed Brandon's Xbox, built by Microsoft, after noticing changes in behavior since Brandon started playing "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare" online.

The boy started skipping school, stealing money and ignoring his studies, his father said.

A local newspaper, the family's Internet service provider and Child Find offered a 25,000-dollar (19,500-dollar US) reward for information leading to his return.

Microsoft topped it up with another 25,000 dollars, the company said Tuesday in an email to AFP, "hoping for his swift return."

"Like everyone, we are deeply worried about the disappearance of Brandon Crisp," the company said.

Exhaustive searches have not turned up a single clue beyond the boy's bicycle, found last week with a flat tire.

Police are said to be examining who Brandon played with online. "Law enforcement has contacted Microsoft about this matter and we are cooperating fully with them," said Microsoft.

On Sunday, 1,600 volunteer searchers packed up their reflective vests and ended their efforts to find him, while police stopped their air and water search.

In an interview with the daily Globe and Mail, the boy's father, Steve Crisp, said he had not known how important the gaming system was to his son and how he would react when it was taken away.

Experts commented that gamers may form bonds with fellow online players.

"This had become his identity, and I didn't realize how in-depth this was until I took his Xbox away," Steve Crisp told the Globe and Mail. "That's like cutting his legs off."

"This is such an issue that hits every parent out there, with video games that are starting to control our kids' lives," he said.

"I just took away his identity, so I can understand why he got so mad and took off. Before, I couldn't understand why he was taking off for taking his game away."

Now, Brandon's father says he just wants his son to come home.

Date created : 2008-10-28