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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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  • by DragonTHC (208439) <Dragon@NosPAM.gamerslastwill.com> on Saturday May 23, 2009 @09:54PM (#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?

  • Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by justinlee37 (993373) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @09:55PM (#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.

  • Is it just me? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by viyh (620825) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @09:57PM (#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 Fieryphoenix (1161565) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @10:01PM (#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.
  • Re:Is it just me? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 23, 2009 @10:11PM (#28071605)

    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 than the problem itself, tragedies like this will continue to happen. This poor kids life seemed so bad to him that without the escapism offered by video games, he simply couldn't bear to face it. The games were quite literally keeping him alive, and because people didn't understand that and tried to "cure" him, he ended up dead. In this case, rather than acknowledge that mistake, they compound it by banning the very thing that was helping this kid. I imagine that if he had grown up without access to video games, he wouldn't have been any less troubled than he ultimately was, those trouble simply would have manifested in different ways.

    That said, it's a bit odd that Thailand apparently lumps gambling and video games all into the same category even though there's really only occasional overlap.

  • Could happen here. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MindlessAutomata (1282944) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @10:16PM (#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 Bushido Hacks (788211) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @10:26PM (#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]
  • by ctmurray (1475885) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @10:35PM (#28071761) Journal
    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 windows. I pay someone else to risk their life.
  • by Kecut (141037) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @10:59PM (#28071871)

    Ban *everyone*? OMG Mass suicides!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 23, 2009 @11:37PM (#28072113)

    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.

  • Re:Is it just me? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @05:14AM (#28073367) Journal
    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, many games are violent. They are also mostly produced by big faceless corporations who make money and are thus both morally and financially attractive targets.

    I'm not aware of claims made against game companies for death or damages supposedly "caused by games", but it's waiting to happen.
  • by somersault (912633) on Sunday May 24, 2009 @06:46AM (#28073717) Homepage Journal

    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. The minute they are no longer being monitored/restrained they will be right back at it, unless they have made their own decision to stop.

    I have had periods of my life where I played a lot of computer games - very likely at a level that could be classified as addiction (used to stay up til 6am every night playing Counter-Strike, and later on it was MUDing). Guess what, I am still happy that I played those games, the reason I did it was because I was getting enjoyment out of it. Yes it did detract from other aspects of life at times, but I'd prefer to make my own choices than be forced to stop or limit activities I do in my own free time.

It was kinda like stuffing the wrong card in a computer, when you're stickin' those artificial stimulants in your arm. -- Dion, noted computer scientist

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