Saudi Arabia Banning Many Video Games Following Children's Suicides

Saudi Arabia

It’s weird how video games are still to blame for violence these days, even though there’s very little proof that they’ve done so. Nevertheless, some countries are taking extra precautions when it comes to protecting the lives of young ones.

The Hollywood Reporter recently posted a story regarding how Saudi Arabia was banning a handful of video games following the suicide of two young children, after it was reported that an online game encouraged them to do so.

This comes from the Saudi General Commission for Audio-Visual Media, noting that it was banning 47 games for unspecified violations of rules and regulations. Though a full list of the games was not provided, it appears that there are a few best-selling favorites on it, including Grand Theft Auto V, Assassin’s Creed II and The Witcher.

The group says the ban was in response to the death of the two children, including a 13-year old girl and a 12-year old boy. The duo were reportedly playing a social media game called Blue Whale when they were encouraged to kill themselves.

Blue Whale is apparently a game in which participants are given a series of missions that they must complete. However, at the end, they’re asked to kill themselves. It doesn’t appear that the game’s developers have spoken up on the matter, nor has the Saudi General Commission for Audio-Visual Media talked about the connection between the games and the deaths.

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It’s unknown just how long the game ban will be for and what other titles could be on the list without the full removal of the games. But if we could make a suggestion...it sounds like the group should be looking more deeply into the effects of this social game instead of at titles that have sold millions of copies with hardly any reports of violence coming from the players.

We’ll let you know if we hear any more from the group or if any more titles from the list of 47 games are revealed. In the meantime, parents, remember to take care and keep tabs on what your kids are playing. We know some of you aren’t.