Citing "the encouragement of addictive gaming," the government of Thailand recently shut down approximately 72 websites "offering access to online gambling and games." The decision was made shortly after the tragic suicide of 12-year-old Pongsathorn Wattanabenjasopha, allegedly caused by his father banning him from playing PC games.
While a variety of studies have simultaneously "proven
" and "disproven
" the addictive properties of video games, Bundit Sornpaisarn, director of the Rajanagarindra Child and Adolescent Mental Health Institute, told the Bangkok Post
, "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." While we're not sure of the correlation with video games in Mr. Sornpaisarn's statement or why shutting down gaming/gambling websites in Thailand is the response to a child's suicide, we extend our condolences to everyone affected by the events.