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American commits suicide on Bulgarian forum

Yesterday a 21-year old gamer broadcast his suicide via webcam on the forums of Bulgarian gaming site www.metalgearsolid.org, which has since been closed pending an investigation.

The decision to take one's own life is always unfortunate, but we have to be careful of where to assign blame. The linked article reports he was "complaining about family problems and a lack of money," certainly two very common causes of stress and depression. Let's hope the media acts responsibly while covering this, instead of grabbing headlines with sensational stories of video games provoking suicide.

(Update: Whoops, looks like we're too late already. Next Generation has a followup about the forum members whose behavior appears delinquent in the linked story. They deny that the suicide was broadcast on the site for six hours, and blame the media for acting irresponsibly, stating, "We do not... appreciate having our reputation slammed across the internet by news organizations that have clearly failed in their journalistic duties. We would greatly appreciate it if they would solve this matter.")

(Update 2: Gaming Horizon does a good job eviscerating the original story: they got his forum name wrong, the site is not Bulgarian, and they misidentified the "forum administrator", all in addition to fabricating information about the broadcast. If you'd like to contact the AFP newswire service to complain about the egregious errors in their report, use this form and select "Contact news department.")

[Thanks, Evan and segando]

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