An online game which parodies the struggles of a deeply depressed musician faces severe criticism in the U.K.
The Sun reports that, in particular, Billy Suicide is outraging suicide prevention advocates. In the game players attempt to get Billy through his day with doses of caffeine, alcohol and anti-depressants. The character can also engage in activities such as playing his guitar or watching T.V. to elevate his mood. If Billy gets too depressed, however, he will take his own life.
A spokesperson for advocacy group The Samaritans told The Sun:
Certain types of suicide portrayal can act as a catalyst to influence the behaviour of people who are already vulnerable — particularly young people.
Paul Kelly, a representative of Papyrus, an anti-suicide organization, added:
This game is completely irresponsible. The people who made it should realise the damage that it can cause.
GP: We should note that Billy Suicide is an amateur game, not the product of the commercial video game industry.