An unnamed 17-year-old was taken into police custody the other day in Ohio, following a threat that he’d commit suicide to an in-game Blizzard representative (known as a GM). The staffer contacted local emergency services, who showed up at the kid’s house.
The kid told the GM that “he was suicidal and the game was the only thing he had to live for”. Other people have tried stuff like that on Blizzard before, but this is the first time that someone’s been arrested over it.
Suicide threats are a first degree misdemeanor in Ohio, meaning that although the kid’s been released, he’s now got a court date to contend with. If he were truly suicidal, then you’ve got to worry that that might send him over the edge, but – guess what – he wasn’t, telling police that it was a joke “to try and get what he wanted for the game.”
Some might call this a bit heavy-handed, but I think it’s spot-on. If he was serious, he’d have got the help he needed. If he wasn’t, he’ll be scared shitless and never do anything like that again. A rare example of a win-win situation.
By Duncan Geere | January 2nd, 2009