On Tuesday evening, a 13-year-old boy from Dhankawadi, Pune committed suicide after his mother stopped him from playing video games on his mobile phone.

The boy had an exam coming on January 12, and with the holidays soon to end, his mother insisted that he study for it since he had been playing games for several hours. The child, though angered, gave his mom the phone and sat down to study. However, his room stayed quiet for a long time afterward, so the mother decided to come in to check, only to find her son hanging from the ceiling. His father later reported that the boy was heavily attracted to an adventure/puzzle game on Android called Ghost Town.

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Friends of the deceased said that they used to play together until last summer, but he wasn’t around much this Christmas holidays. The boy’s father and uncle shared that he had good grades at school, and was also decent in sports. His death has caused his family much grief. His grandmother, who just recently went through surgery, was devastated, while his mother has been hospitalized because of the shock. He also left behind a younger brother as well. The police are now making further inquiries regarding this case, which they registered as an “unnatural death”.

Regarding this, psychologists say it could be a result of temperament being exacerbated by immersive games. According to psychological counselor Abey John, games nowadays are more challenging compared to the past. They demand a lot of time from players in order to progress. For children, when this progress is interrupted, it could lead to great anger or despair. The boy’s seemingly rash action could have been an ill-considered attempt to get back at his mother, but one would need to study deeper into the interaction between him and his parents in order to confirm the underlying cause.