A second young adult has been suspected of dying by suicide, also in Lahore, in what the police said was a death possibly linked to playing online games.
On Tuesday, the Hanjarwal police were called to a house in Gulshan-e-Abbas’s Phase 2 where the body of a 16-year-old was found. His parents told the police that they had told him to stop playing an online game, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG).
The DIG Operations Ashfaq Ahmed Khan said that they found the young man's cell phone in the room and the PUBG app was running on it.
The teen recently appeared for his matriculation papers privately.
His body has been sent to a hospital for postmortem examination. The parents, however, have said that they don't want to get the examination done, according to the police.
The parents declined to speak to the media too.
Three days ago, a 20-year-old took his own life in Saddar Bazaar in North Cantonment. The police said that his parents had stopped him from playing the online game.
PUBG, which has been developed by a South Korean company, is a 2017 survival game in which players are dropped onto an island to battle it out against others. The multiplayer game allows players from all over the world to compete against each other or in teams. Players attack and kill each other in the game and the more you win, the higher you rank. It has garnered 34.2 million downloads worldwide so far.
Syed Mubashar Ali, a psychologist, said that violent games such as PUBG sometimes lead to children exhibiting more aggressive behaviour. “When their parents stop them from play such games, they become very aggressive and don’t listen to their parents,” he told SAMAA TV.
When people play online games for too long they immerse themselves mentally and physically in it. They consider themselves to be a part of it and lose touch with people around them, he claimed. “I encourage all parents to involve their children more and give them time.”
Operations DIG, on the other hand, said that games such as PUBG create a digital addiction. Such games are causing more harm than good, he remarked.
On May 18, a Lahore man approached the Lahore High Court to ban the video game. “The game has a negative impact on children. They are becoming more ruthless and violent,” said the petitioner.
Here’s what you should do if someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide:
• Do not leave the person alone.
• Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt.
• Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional
• You can get in touch with the following mental health helplines and speak to them.
- Mind Organisation 042 35761999
- Umang 0317 4288665
- Talk2me.pk 0333 4065139
- Baat Karo 0335 5743344
- Taskeen 0332 5267936
- Rooh 0333 3337664
- Rozan 0800-22444
- OpenCounseling 042 35761999