Chinese 13-year-old's death linked to World of Warcraft

By Derek Sooman on November 21, 2005, 5:12 PM
In China, the parents of a 13-year-old Tianjin boy are suing the makers of "World of Warcraft" because they claim that the game was responsible for the death of their son! Seemingly, the boy jumped to his death after re-enacting a scene from the game, according to Chinese news agency Xinhua. Anti-Internet addiction advocate Zhang Chunliang is backing the parentís suit against Blizzard Entertainment. Chunliang has apparently spoken to 63 parents whose children have allegedly suffered from online gaming addiction, and has a class-action suit in the works.

Blizzard executives werenít available to comment to RedHerring.com about the lawsuit.

The high-profile backlash to Chinaís booming online game market reflects the growing size of the industry. World of Warcraft alone has 1.5 million paying players.




User Comments: 6

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revenantangel said:
Well I have been playing this game for over four months now and I do spend many hours every week on it. I have to say however that I do not feel compelled to pick up my staff, summon a demon, and seek out the denizens of the World of Warcraft for a slaying party. Nor do I feel like jumping off a cliff because I know I will survive. C'mon people! Do you think that maybe there might have been an existing underlying issue in this child that allowed his exposure to this game to literally push him over the edge? Did he tell people that he was going to perform this act, copying the game? Or did he have an accident and the parents, in their grief, are trying to find cause and closure by blaming the gaming company that "offers" their game to consumers, not forces them to use it? Parents listen up. Do not let your kids watch tv, use their playstations, or see movies that may give them ideas that may drive them to do what they see there. "But we can't control what they watch/play/view." YES YOU CAN! All players of the game electronically sign a EULA and make the decision to play. Persons under 18 need to have their parent's permission to form an account. So instead of attacking the company that provides the product, how about making sure you know more about what your kids are doing on their computer and teach them the difference between fact and fantasy. I am sorry this family has lost their child. No parent should ever have to bury their child. Grief is important. But focus on the life he lived, not how to place blame for his death.
shadowrunner said:
that is INSANE. a 13-year-old kid cant distinguish a game from real life? he must of played without sleep or something!
Race said:
Hopefully this case doesn't have a leg to stand on.You hear about this sort of thing in the U.S., but I think this is the first we've heard about this in a country such as China.This rates right up there with parents suing because their kid killed himself after listening to an Ozzie Ozbourne song.A pc game may be even more ridiculous!
canadian said:
World of warcraft is a plague on this earth, it must be eradicated, and burned! LET IT BURN!Lol, anyways, I think this is horrible. But, like most ignorant people would say, were are the parents when this happens?
Jdunn said:
He was on World of warcraft for 36 hours straight, and then left a note saying that he was going to kill himself so that he can join the heroes of the game. He thought that when he died he would go and meet characters from the world that he played the game in. So it wasnt the parents fault it wasnt the games it was his.
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