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Thai gov't closes dozens of gaming sites after boy commits suicide

Dale Weir's picture

Apparently, after being banned from playing PC games, Pongsathorn Wattanabenjasopha jumped from the sixth floor of his school. This is certainly tragic news, but the bigger news story is the actions of the Thai government. To prevent other suicides, Thailand's Criminal Court ordered 72 online gambling and gaming websites to close.

Pongsathorn Wattanabenjasopha, a Prathom 6 (sixth grade) student at the Sri Witthaya Paknam School, jumped to his death on Thursday after his father banned him from playing computer games.

Dr Taweesilp said the suicide rate was rising in the kingdom. The majority of those taking their own lives were mostly in the 30-40 age group, followed by teenagers aged 12-13.

There were several factors that drove people to commit suicide. Family problems topped the list. Other factors included physical and mental problems, economic hardships, poor income and unemployment.

Bundit Sornpaisarn, director of the Rajanagarindra Child and Adolescent Mental Health Institute, said the boy's suicide reflected that children who were addicted to games and had an aggressive mentality were more likely to commit suicide than others.

How this will save lives is debatable (at least on these shores), but according to GamePolitics, Thailand has a history of heavyhanded treatment of games and the Internet.

Source: GamePolitics.com

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