Chinese Suicide Shows Addiction Dangers

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Chinese Suicide Shows Addiction Dangers

Chinese Suicide Shows Addiction Dangers

The suicide of a young Chinese boy in the Tianjin province has highlighted once more the growing dangers of game addiction, when those responsible don't understand or notice the risks of unhealthy play. Xiao Yi was thirteen when he threw himself from the top of a twenty-four story tower block in his home town, leaving notes that spoke of his addiction and his hope of being reunited with fellow cyber-players in heaven. The suicide notes were written through the eyes of a gaming character, so reports the China Daily, and stated that he hoped to meet three gaming friends in the after life. His parents, who had noticed with growing concern his affliction, were not mentioned in the letters.

"My kid was like someone taking drugs who could not control himself," said Xiao Yi's father. "His mother and I were very worried about him. But we knew little about the Internet and we did not know how to save him." Previously, Xiao's parents had found him starving after two days and nights in an internet cafe playing online role-playing games. When questioned about his bizarre behaviour, his father said that a tearful Xiao had told him that he had been poisoned by games and could no longer control himself.

This is not the first incident of this kind, but it is certainly the severest, with Asia being a hot-spot for such socially-derived issues. On the reasoning why gamers can be sucked into virtual worlds to a dangerous degree, software association head Liu Min commented "In the hypothetical world created by such games, they become confident and gain satisfaction, which they cannot get in the real world."

Foreign influences in games played by Chinese youngsters (most of which are imported) were accused of having a negative influence, of promoting 'demon worlds', to their impressionable audiences, though it seems more likely that it was issues in the victims own life which drew him to seek such extreme escapism. A sad tale, regardless.

Liz Woolley