It’s nothing unusual to hear that video games get accused for causing school shootings, violence, and even murder.
And that´s the way it´s been since the early 90s (Mortal Kombat, GTA and Doom felt the heat of the media and public back then).
But i can´t say that i´ve heard that many cases about video games getting blamed for teen suicides. Actually, today was the first time ever that i read about 2 famous teen suicide cases that´s linked to Call of Duty.
The first teen (William Menzies) was found dead in his home (reason of suicide unknown. Because he left no notes at all), then we got the teen that hanged himself (Callum Green).
There´s three things that connect these two terrible (and tragic) suicide cases. 1. Green and Menzies were both teens 2. Both toke suicide and 3. They played COD
I should mention that there´s 2 other teen suicide cases that´s linked to COD as well. But there´s less information on those two cases. So i just focused on Green and Menzies instead (i will not show their faces in respect for their families and friends).
And just like the case with the Columbine High School massacre. Media are really fast to blame the games which the teens in question, played before they comite their crimes (yes, suicide are still considered to be a crime in some states in the US).
So that raises a lot of questions. Like, what kind of evidence does media have that COD really caused these teens to take their lifes?
Sure, they could reverse the question back to us. Why didn’t COD make them commit suicide?
Well, if we take the case with Menzies. He showed no signs of depression whatsoever.
Either his parents or friends noticed anything strange or odd about him (Menzies was a A-class top student).
Green however, was said to have taken his own life (by hanging himself) after playing COD with his stepfather.
Then you got the statements from Coroner John Pollard (he works for “Coroners Manchester South”):
“It has figured in a number of deaths which I’m investigating. I suspect but I don’t know because I don’t have enough evidence, that William may have been experimenting with something or deliberately intending to do something but we haven’t got evidence.”
“There was no note or indication he was feeling down or distressed.” On the suicide of Menzies – Coroner John Pollard, Stockport coroner (Coroners Manchester South).
So where does that leave us? Is it COD´s fault that all these teens choose to take their own lives? If not? Who´s to blame?
Well, i have just read article “Don’t Blame Call Of Duty For Teenage Suicide” at gamasutra. And here´s my 5 cents.
There “might” be some connection between COD and the teen suicides. Maybe there´s something in the COD games that triggers teens to commit suicide (hidden subliminal messages?).
But It could also be a pure coincidence that the teens in question played COD.
And what if (and i say IF) they had played, say, a lot of World of Warcraft instead of COD. Would Wow have been accused of the same thing as COD then?
Get my point? “Maybe” they would have committed suicide no matter what game they played.
I´m also quite sure that there would have been less buzz about this if the teens havn´t been Gamers at all.
Because media just loves to point guilty fingers at the video game industry. So tell me, did COD cause the war in Ukraine, Syria and Iraq as well?
One thing is for sure though. Four teens are dead due suicide, it´s a great tragedy. And their cases should be studied and analyzed very, very carefully.
To find clues that might help us understand why did like they did. And thus, help us (the society) to prevent other teens from doing the same exact thing.
But what do you guys think? Is COD to blame for all the teen suicides that has taken place recently?
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