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Thai officials shut down game sites following boy's suicide

2:00 PM on 05.23.2009

Jim Sterling

Former Reviews Editor

Yesterday, we told you about a 12-year-old boy who committed suicide after his parents banned him from gaming. The most curious aspect of the story was the fact that Thailand's overbearing Ministry of Health did not use the death as an excuse to exercise more of its heavy-handed control over the country's games industry, as it usually does whenever game-themed violence appears. Seems like we spoke too soon on that count, as the Thai Government has been closing down dozens of gaming and gambling Web sites in the name of protecting the chilluns.

Seventy-two Web sites have been shut down without any formal investigation, all thanks to Thursday's suicide. Quite why online gambling sites were also targeted is unclear, since they seemed to have nothing to do with the case in question. Still, Thailand's authorities will use any excuse to exterminate things they don't like, so it's probable that the gambling sites were lumped in merely to satisfy an ulterior agenda. 

This is par for the course with Thailand, and the only shocking thing is that something like this didn't happen while 12-year-old Pongsathorn Wattanabenjasopha's body was still warm. Thailand's usually quicker than this when it comes to repressing any form of interactive entertainment. 

Way to use a boy's death to push your own motives. Classy.

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