Newspaper Report Links Call of Duty With Teen Suicides
As printed news media becomes less and less relevant, the quality of stories seems to degrade. If there is one outlet known for poor quality, shoddy journalism, and straight up selling lies, then it’s The Sun. A news paper that some how manages to set the bar lower and lower on a consist basis. It’s a outlet that has such a dirty history it would make most politicians blush. What relevance does all this have in relation to video games? Well The Sun has a odd attitude towards them, even more so considering it’s latest piece.
On page 19 of The Sun, the edition dated 28th of May, is a story that claims Call of Duty is linked to teenage suicides. It’s a title that catches the attention, the loss of young life is always tragic, even more so when it’s self-inflicted. Such a bold claim must surely have some hard evidence to back it up? Perhaps a scientific study? An established pattern? Far far from it.
A young 16 year old boy (no date of death given) was found dead, in his room. The cause of death was self-suffocation. In 2012 a 14 year old hanged himself. What’s the connection here? Simple, they had both played Call of Duty. The game has also been ‘linked’ with two other teenage suicides. Why has Call of Duty been mentioned in these cases? Coroner John Pollard had noticed that all of the teenagers had been fans of Call of Duty…nothing more.
”I have to say. After three or four inquests into the deaths of teens, the Call of Duty game seems to figuring in recent activity before death. It concerns me greatly” Mr Pollard goes onto say ”It has figured in a number of deaths. I’m investigating”. The article then closes by stating Activision did not comment.
Now let’s be honest, Call of Duty is MASSIVE, it’s a pop culture phenomenon. There are millions of people playing the franchise day in, day out from all walks of life. The fact that Mr Pollard is trying to connect a handful of teenage suicides to Call of Duty is not just odd, it’s laughable. Would he say the same thing if (and this is likely) all the teenagers were into Football? No, probably not. This points towards yet another example of people from a by gone time STILL not understanding what a video game is, or even bothering to try and understand it. There’s literally no evidence, or even suggestion, that Call of Duty played a part in the deaths of these teenagers. It’s sheer sensationalism and ignorance both on the part of Mr Pollard, and on the Sun for running the story.
The most worrying part of this article is the sheer lack of facts and research put behind such a bold claim. Like It or not, Call of Duty is a hugely popular game that finds it’s way into the household of millions, households which include children and young teenagers. The suggestion that Call of Duty played a part in the suicides of these teenagers is based nothing but coincidence. These teenagers more than likely shared a number of interests in common, a coincidence, not a pattern. If this was a true issue then the rate of teenage suicides would FAR exceed the amount mentioned in the article.
It’s clear to see that this is yet another slight aimed at video games by a paper that reveals in attacking them, as long as it doesn’t hurt their advertisement income. The Sun has published a number of articles that paint various elements of the industry as danger. ‘Xbox Kills Teenager’ ‘Terrorists Use Call of Duty To Plan Attack” ”Murder Takes Inspiration From Video Game”. These are just a small number of stories ran by The Sun, all of which glossed over facts and focused on sensationalist topics. ”Xbox Kills Teenager” is perhaps the best example as the teen in question died of blot clot in his leg, nothing to do with the Xbox it’s self. This did not stop The Sun from printing on the front page ”Xbox Kills Teenager”.
The Sun is a scum bag publication, ran by scum bags, that tries oh so very hard to masquerade as a family friendly publication. There’s a certain sense of confusion to how The Sun manges to cover video game invites when it’s so happy to gleefully post lies and distorted truths in a attempt to make the video game industry, and it’s consumers, bad.