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14-Year-Old Takes Own Life After Losing Money In Online Game

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14-Year-Old Takes Own Life After Losing Money In Online Game

In terrible news, a young boy has taken his own life after spending too much money in online games. The 14-year-old reportedly spent his parents’ money on mobile games to their disdain. After fearing he would be reprimanded for spending too much, he decided to take his own life. 

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As reported by Latin Times, the boy was found in a body of water near Irinjalakuda in Thrissur, Kerala, India. His parents had reported the teenager missing on November 16, and search efforts eventually found his body. The leading theory, according to The New Indian Express, is that he feared admonishment from his father after he continued to spend money on online games. 

The New Indian Express reports that the game involved in this situation was Free Fire, but it doesn’t seem 100% confirmed that this is the only game he spent money on, nor the one in this particular case. It is true, however, that Free Fire is huge in India. The report also mentions that he lost “a lot” of money on gaming, though it’s not clear exactly how much. 

Very sadly, when police searched for the boy they found his shoes and bicycle near a pond on Wednesday. This led to more police being called in to find the boy, which is absolutely devastating. 

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It’s terrible that a teenager took this extreme step, and it’s indicative of the power some games have on kids and how they may encourage spending. Earlier this year, there was a new study that investigated the link between gambling and loot boxes. The link was “robustly verified” and calls to limit tactics to encourage spending in games were amplified. However, there are yet to be major moves made in places like India to protect kids from these tactics. Though loot boxes may not have been involved in this particular case, rampant spending is still often encouraged.

Featured Image Credit: 111dots Studio

Imogen Mellor

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