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Thai Gaming Sites Ordered Shut Down After Suicide 82

Posted by Soulskill
from the completely-reasonable-reaction dept.
eldavojohn writes "Seventy-two websites have been ordered shut down by the courts in Thailand following the suicide of a 12-year-old boy who jumped from the sixth story of his school after his father banned him from playing computer games. This brings more action from the court: 'Some websites are rumored to take in over 100 million baht from online betting a night at peak periods, causing huge economic losses to the country. To prevent online gambling, the DSI, also a member of the internet safety committee, would notify all Internet service providers across the country about the court order. From now on, any provider found to encourage or provide online gambling will not only face a jail term and a fine, but also have his/her ISP license revoked by the ICT.' Thailand is no stranger to internet censorship of various sites."
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Thai Gaming Sites Ordered Shut Down After Suicide

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  • Online gambling (Score:5, Informative)

    by Brian Gordon (987471) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @10:54PM (#28071471)
    It's illegal in the United States too. Well, sort of [wikipedia.org]. And this is !gaming it's online poker and such. Also 100 million baht is a million dollars. Shrug.
    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by Hojima (1228978)

      from TFA

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

      I think I see what's going on here. People might start to realize how shitty their government is if they don't start bringing up red herrings. Otherwise, they wouldn't implement the same action that caused a kid to kill himself on everyone else.

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Addiction [wikipedia.org]

      How come there isn't software to identify addiction? Or government agencies? Or social groups? My strip club addiction is poison to my wallet and my life. Where's my handout? I think we as people should have identified this long ago. It's not any kind of particular addiction, it's addiction itself. If we had it burned in at an early age on how to identify and combat, then no more global warming, no more WOW binges, no more drug cartels, no more casino empire, no more te

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by somersault (912633)

        Sounds more like you are trying to ban enjoyment than addiction. People could become addicted to any rewarding behaviour. It is primarily up to the individual to not take that behaviour too far, you can't keep blaming the government or other external factors for everything. They can play a part but if they really did step in you'd realise you didn't want them to after all. Imagine all alcoholics were forcibly restrained from drinking rather than being given a chance to get their shit together themselves. Th

    • by bcmm (768152)
      Gambling is the traditional and, to some extent, still the normal meaning of "gaming" for people who don't play video games.
      • by LordNimon (85072)
        I think you meant to say: Gambling is the traditional and, to some extent, still the normal meaning of "gaming" for people who don't play any games.
  • by DragonTHC (208439) <Dragon&gamerslastwill,com> on Saturday May 23, 2009 @10:54PM (#28071479) Homepage Journal

    a dad banned his kid from playing games and the kid killed himself.

    then...

    the thai government says this is bad, we need to stop those gaming sites.

    then...

    the thai government effectively bans everyone from gaming?

    and no one else is supposed to kill themselves?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Kecut (141037)

      Ban *everyone*? OMG Mass suicides!

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Wait... your right! No one else killed themselves... Hmm. Maybe they don't need to shut do--NO IT'S FOR THE CHILDREN YOU BASTARD.

    • by modecx (130548)

      Thailand has an interesting culture/leadership (and by interesting, I mean crazy).

      Let's ban youtube because some random put a video there, in which the king had shoes on his head. Let's also ban gaming sites because some twerp jumped off a roof. But, let's ignore if not support at a federal level, the real problems (child prostitution, human trafficking might be a good place to start)

      Sure, I realize the current government is a quasi-military clusterfuck, but really--it seems any kind of energy on their part

      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        by Hubbell (850646)
        If you ban child prostitution in thailand the entire tourist industry would collapse, are you insane? It's every man's dream to sleep with a 12 year old ladyboy!
    • the thai government effectively bans everyone from gaming? and no one else is supposed to kill themselves?

      [sarcasm] Why not? That sure worked well when that kid killed himself after playing too much dungeons and dragons, and parents everywhere started forbidding their kids from playing it as well! D&D is dead now, and that kid is remembered as a hero for destroying an evil game... [/sarcasm]

    • by HTH NE1 (675604)

      Imagine if the suicide of 15-year-old Edward Seidel [lpmuds.net] over the cancellation of the original Battlestar Galactica [wikipedia.org] led to the end of all science fiction television in the US in 1979!

  • Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by justinlee37 (993373) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @10:55PM (#28071481)

    What do gambling sites have to do with the suicide of a 12-year-old?

    Also, I find it funny that the response to a boy committing suicide when he was banned from playing games is to ban the entire country from playing games.

    • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

      I'm too lazy to RTFA, naturally, but it appears that in this case it's not "online gaming" as in WoW, it's "online gaming" as in Pokerstars.net or UltimateBet.com.

      They are technically online games, but they are betting sites.

      If I'm wrong, and Thai judjes' leap of logic was "Boy commits suicide over not being allowed to play WoW, therefore we should ban all gambling websites", then Thailand has got to be one fucked up place.

      • by Narcocide (102829)

        It's a pretty weird place. I heard their police have to wear smiley-face masks to disguise their true feelings towards criminals.

    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by digitalchinky (650880) <dtchky@gmail.com> on Saturday May 23, 2009 @11:12PM (#28071615)

      This might be explained or at least rationalised slightly better if you understand the differences between Asian culture and the one which, presumably, you come from (My assumption is the US, but I could be wrong)

      Now, I don't make the rules here, so when I say it is sometimes seen as a 'very grave family insult' to commit suicide, you might think this is stupid, backward, and crazy arsed dumb 12 ways from Sunday. And you would be right too. Thai people tend not to want to directly confront any problem head on, they like to tackle things a little more obliquely, talk about it in vague hand waving first. "Yes" often actually means no, or just maybe.

      Knee jerk reactions such as this do sort themselves out in parliament or the legal system. Give it a month or two to have the person responsible for this action will get slapped around, the law might not get stricken from record, but it wont really be enforced either. Aside from this, there are always deeper issues at play, people using tragedy as an excuse to push their agenda. None of us anywhere in the world are stranger to this though!

    • by moon3 (1530265)
      What do gambling sites have to do with the suicide of a 12-year-old

      Government business as usual. At least they haven't invaded another country or two..
  • Is it just me? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by viyh (620825) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @10:57PM (#28071497) Homepage
    That seems very non sequitur. The kid killed himself because of the actions of his father, not the actions of the websites. Sounds like he needed better parenting, let alone the fact that a child who commits suicide over something like that obviously had some other issues. Go Thailand!
    • by Jurily (900488)

      Sounds like he needed better parenting, let alone the fact that a child who commits suicide over something like that obviously had some other issues.

      I'm waiting to see the suicide rates after this move. If it's only a few more, there's obviously no reason for the ban. If people commit suicide by the hundreds, we have a definite proof Darwin was right.

      At any rate, why don't we start making games fun instead of addictive?

      • I don't know about you, but I generally don't get addicted to the non-fun games.
      • by xant (99438)

        > If people commit suicide by the hundreds, ... then we leave the ban in place a little longer. Pretty soon everyone who was going to kill themselves has done so. Problem solved, gaming turned back on for everyone else.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      People often assume that people become addicted to computer games, and then they neglect their life and it falls apart and the games are therefore to blame. This is backwards, imo. People only become addicted to games when they are already depressed or when their life seems so bad that they crave the escapism games can provide. Gaming attracts unhappy people, it doesn't *make* them unhappy.

      Until people learn this lesson and start treating gaming addiction as the *symptom* of an underlying issue, rather t

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by JaredOfEuropa (526365)
      This is how it works in many countries; there's this idea that whenever something bad happens, someone or something must be to blame. The kid in this case would be held blameless... he is the victim. The parents? They are as much a victim as the kid, who in their right mind would suggest that they might be bad parents? Especially since it's often the parents starting the crusade to assign blame. The school? Possibly... but when there are games involved, it is so much easier to blame those. After all,
  • Why.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @10:59PM (#28071511)
    I've never really understood why countries take so many steps to censor things. What exactly was the problem? Kid liked games, parents took away the games, kid committed suicide. So obviously the answer is to ban all game sites? This is about the worst logic I have ever heard, heck, even Jack Thompson makes more sense than this...
    • by pimpimpim (811140)
      Why censor? Because control of information means more power over people. How this applies to video games is not directly clear to me either, but as the summary says there is a lot of money involved which probably does not go to state taxes.
    • A lot of people are talking about (Aristotelian) logic here but it's missing the point completely. Two things: I've lived a number of years in Thailand & Cambodia. I love (Aristotelian) logic as I believe it is beautiful and underpins the very basic facts of our universe. The three laws of thought are: i) A is A; ii) It is not the case that 'P' and 'not-P'; iii) It is the case that either 'P' or 'not-P'. These seems impossible to deny. In fact, they're a sound test for irrationality. Now, you wo
  • by Fieryphoenix (1161565) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @11:01PM (#28071525)
    The article and summary heavily imply that the suicide caused the ban, but I read nothing to indicate that these are simply two events that happened in Thailand, one after the other. Indeed, the thrust appears to be against gambling, with additionally mentioned a call for psychological counseling for the bereaved.
    • by mysidia (191772)

      You're right... there would appear to indeed be very little indication the events were related.

      Think the reporter may have fallen ill to a Post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy here.

      (Or just failed to include the quote or specific information linking the two events)

    • by LingNoi (1066278)

      In Thailand a few years back a father beat his son to death with a metal pipe because of his video game addiction.

      I wouldn't be so quick to blame the websites...

  • by iluvcapra (782887) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @11:10PM (#28071595)

    100 million Thai baht = 2.9121 million U.S. dollars, annualized == $1.058 billion (granted that's a peak period, so it's probably half that)

    Thailand's Population == 63.9 million

    Thailand's GDP / Thailand's population == $3718

    Thailand's game website expenditure (peak night) / population == about $22 or 215% of annualised GDP per capita!

  • The kids probably buddhist. He'll just respawn later in the red light district. Of course he'll have to re-level his character to make up for lost XP.
  • Could happen here. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MindlessAutomata (1282944) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @11:16PM (#28071637)

    Mod me down as a troll if you really want, but I feel like the intellectual zeitgeist in in Western countries is moving in a direction where this could very well happen.

    Individualism, "personal responsibly" (often a bad buzzword, but whatever), individual rights, etc, are becoming more and more vilified in favor of "social responsibility" and "community values." Think I'm paranoid? You haven't been to a college campus recently. This applies to both the "left" and the "right" of course, but the "right" in American terms is losing ground particularly among youth so I'll just focus on left-wing politics.

    It may yet still be over the horizon, but the notion of protecting people over the greater good is not new and I feel that the overall premise is whittling away at free speech. After all, if people can use rhetoric against hate crimes as having no "social value" or against guns in a similar fashion, what's the stop someone from also applying the same principles to speech and entertainment? They can just ask the same question, "what's the social value of video games?" and really your only answer is that "Well, I and others enjoy them" in which case you're a heartless selfish bastard that won't think of the poor kids. A misleading argument, since "social value" is always their OWN subjective determination of what's good and what's not, of course...

    • by pimpimpim (811140)
      Indeed, as of April 22 2009, the german government has accepted a law censoring child porn on the internet. Nobody can object that child porn is bad, but in practice this law will end up blocking random urls (that can be instantly renamed anyway), and creating the means to block any information, be it on purpose or 'accidentally'.
  • by kylerowens (1555499) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @11:16PM (#28071639)
    is to ban all buildings over 5 stories.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ctmurray (1475885)
      I read many years ago in a chemical trade magazine (and no I can't seem to find an internet link)that the LD 50 height for falling is 11 feet. Meaning that when people fall unexpectedly (vs jumping) from a height of 11 feet, 50 percent of them die. So you would need to ban tall single story buildings. I will keep trying to find a link but apparently there is a band called LD 50 and they keep clogging the google results. BTW - after reading this I never go up on ladders higher than the top of my house window
  • by kgroombr (608645)
    Oh my God! My favorite web site just went down. Goodbye cruel world.
  • by Bushido Hacks (788211) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @11:26PM (#28071701) Homepage Journal
    Nothing at all like the Lori Drew Incident that confirms that MySpace is more Train Wreck than Social Network, a spoiled little brat has to ruin it for everybody else because he doesn't want to be disciplined. Another thing to consider is if his dad was some high ranking bureaucrat trying to "save the children from the evils of sex and violence".

    The court hasn't though about the children and the adults who know it is just a game.

    So your dad grounded you from video games. SUCK IT UP! Do your punishment and get it over with. Unless your dad caught you going to some illegal gambling website (which I doubt any 12 y.o. would be doing) or going to one of the nefarious websites that have numbers that are unnecessary and strange suffixes, there is no reason for bratty behavior.

    So you are banned from World of Warcraft for a week. Is killing yourself in real life going to resolve anything?

    Thailand may think they may have people's best interest at heart but it is foolish to make a federal case out of an incident where parents must be accounable for their children's actions, not the government. Unless the kid steals a PS3 from a shop, mom and dad need to increase their discipline.

    Remember, If you love you're children BEAT THEM! [thebestpag...iverse.net]
    • Remember, If you love you're children BEAT THEM! [thebestpag...iverse.net]

      You beat them so they won't jump off the roof? I'm not sure that's going to help in this case.

      Beatings result in fear and/or anger, that's all. There is no "lesson learned". You might as well say an abusive husband is "teaching" his wife (and they say it, AFAIK).

      Someone that lives in fear will fear life. Anger too, doesn't make a healthy mind. The kid might hold a grudge against his parents. It doesn't matter whether the kid will do something against them (and probably won't), but chances are the kid will

      • There is a massive difference between beatings given in anger and simple physical discipline. My siblings and I got our fair share of spankings back when we were children, not because our parents were angry with us, but because they wanted to teach us not to do stuff like running out in the street as toddlers or playing with Dad's power tools in the garage.

        Our parents were pretty good about keeping the dangerous stuff locked up, on high shelves, out of the way of little hands, but the world is full of pot
  • by Dahan (130247) <khym@azeotrope.org> on Sunday May 24, 2009 @12:09AM (#28071927)
    The Bangkok Post article is combining two unrelated stories, and gets the chronology of the two events backwards. The kid's suicide [komchadluek.net] has nothing to do with the DSI shutting down gambling websites [mcot.net] (both articles in Thai, unfortunately... this may be an English article about the suicide [nationmultimedia.com], but it's currently giving me a MySQL error). Also, the Bangkok Post says the court order to shut down the sites is dated May 19, and that "the court order follows the death of a 12-year-old boy". However, the boy killed himself on May 21.
    • You are using fact and reason to point out the sky isn't falling down. Do you know the harm this is doing to slashdot's advertising revenue? They NEED stories like this and wild random speculation on it to draw visitors. You sir are stealing the food out of the mouth of poor slashdot editors who hardly could get any other job with their skills. I hope you are proud of yourself.

  • Oh no, if they prevent kids committing suicide because of game deprivation, how am I supposed to know which new games are good?
  • I'm going to guess that in the Thai language "gambling" and "gaming" are the same word. It's the only reasonable explanation for the apparent confusion between computer games and gambling sites.
  • So, here's how I see it. As we can see, taking the game away from people can cause them to commit suicide.
    Father bans game from kid.
    Kid commits suicide.
    State bans games from everybody.
    Kids all over the country commit suicide.

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.

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