Warcraft WoW - Lead to Depression and Suicide


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Aug 15, 2012
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Since World of Warcraft (WoW) released its addicting game play onto the masses, there have been a few (not many in numbers, but when you look at it vs. all other games that get this kind of publicity, it's fairly impressive) parents who have claimed it was the fault of their child’s suicides. Not long ago, actually just a little over 2 years ago) the parents of a teenage son that committed suicide, decided to sue WoW creators and developers, Blizzard Entertainment, claiming the game is what caused him to take his own life.

When you look at the details though, and I do not mean this in a rude or mean way, it’s absurd. They claim that the teen was addicted to the game, playing for hours on end. While that is not at all surprising, as there are many people who are willing to dedicate literally every waking moment to this game, there is no reason short of a mental handicap (that he should have already been treated for) that would cause someone to go to such lengths. This handicap could be depression for instance, which being a teen, his parents would have noticed early on, and should have went in search of medical treatment.

Yes, playing WoW could be a sign that something is wrong, why he is not wanting to have a social life outside of the video game, but it is not responsible for his suicide. Very often, mental health subjects (i.e. depression again) will not want to interact with a community, because of fear that they will not be accepted, or whatever the depression may be caused by. Perhaps he is picked on in school absurdly, and wishes to hide in his room, where he can be something completely different. If anything, WoW allowed him some type of interaction, though not a perfect replacement of real life social interaction, it could have very well given him more hope, and a fighting chance against his depression.

Two signs of mental health issues are dealing with reality and social interacting, and playing WoW at the level of an addict would be a very open sign that something was wrong, and should easily show his parents that he needs some form of help. I am not saying this to reprimand the parents, or to say this kid did it to himself, I feel bad for him and his parents, and they have my deepest regards, however, the parents need to understand that in cases such as this, the game is not the cause of the suicide, but a sign that things are going bad, just as when you have a cold you have a sore throat and sniffles, this was another sign that something was wrong.

Let this serve as a lesson to all the parents out there who think there son is addicted to WoW. Watch your child, it could be (and most likely is) that he is just in love with playing the game, I myself became addicted to a past game by Blizzard (Diablo II) for over 6 years, spending as much free time I had after school playing it, and I have no problems in life, I've since grown out of the game, and continue on a normal life, it was just a fun game. However, if you see there are other signs of problems, it might be best to speak with your child, see what he’s thinking and how he feels, and it's up to you to decide if seeking professional help is needed. Whatever case it is, be aware of your child’s status, and if it comes down to it, be there for support, love and help, because that’s the best cure for stopping a suicide.


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