Source Pravda.Ru

Computer game accused of driving people to suicide

There is astrange suicide epidemic isamong teenagers here in Russia. Yesterday, another terrible incident became know. In the city of Veliki Novgorod, Central Russia, two 15-year-old girls threw themselves out of the roof of a 9-story building. Law-enforcement bodies, along with standard motives (unshared love, totalitarian religious sects) are also looking at an extraordinary version. Some of the suicide victims are known to have been fans the Final Fantasy computer game. According to psychologists, the game, abound with the elements of philosophy and magic, might well have affected fatally the teenagers’ fragile mentality. The series of self-murders started on March 20th of this year. In Kstov, the city of Nizhni Novgorod’s outskirts, a 13-year-old Alyosha hanged himself on a dressing gown’s belt. In 3 days, a 14-year-old Zhenya followed suit. On April 26, Ksenia, his girlfriend, also committed a suicide. Those cases were singled out by the procurator’s office in a special procedure. A “computer version” was then voiced for the first time. One of the versions put forward by the investigators is a fatal obsession by teenagers pf the Final Fantasy computer game. The investigators are looking at most unlikely versions, including a destructive influence on the mind and also some coded signal recorded on the disk capable of prompting one to committing a suicide. A question arose: whether it could lead to a kind of country-wide epidemic. Now, law enforcement bodies say group suicides among teenagers are on increase. The trend is that those suicides are becoming younger and younger. Over the last 2 decades, the number of males aged 15-24, having committed suicide, has almost doubled.

Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2001/11/05/33412.html