Thai Govt Closes Dozens of Websites After Boy Commits Suicide Over Game Ban

Following the suicide of a 12-year-old boy on Thursday, Thailand’s Criminal Court has ordered the closure of 72 websites.

The Bangkok Post reports that Pongsathorn Wattanabenjasopha leaped to his death from the sixth floor of his school building, after being banned from playing video games by his father.

Oddly enough, the 72 sites shuttered by the Thai government include both online game and gambling venues. The Post reports comments by a government official who said that game-addicted children were more likely to commit suicide:

Bundit Sornpaisarn, director of the Rajanagarindra Child and Adolescent Mental Health Institute, said the boy’s suicide reflected that children who were addicted to games and had an aggressive mentality were more likely to commit suicide than others.

Parents need to instil a sense of discipline in children from a young age if such tragedies are to be prevented, he said.

Dr Bundit said people whose children were in their teens should use positive communications to deal with their child’s addiction to online games. They should control their emotions and listen to their children’s views, as that would bring positive responses, he said.

GP: It’s impossible to know from a distance what was troubling young Pongsathorn Wattanabenjasopha, but it would seem reasonable for the Thai government to at least conduct some sort of investigation before closing down online game websites.

And, while GP neither supports nor covers online gambling sites, their inclusion in the crackdown seems odd, since there is no report to date indicating that the boy was involved in any way with gambling.

But, as GamePolitics documented in 2008, Thailand has something of a repressive history in regard to games and the Internet.

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  1. Andrew Eisen says:

    "The court order follows the death of a 12-year-old boy who jumped from the sixth-floor balcony of his school building on Thursday after he was banned from playing computer games by his father."

    Thursday could be referring to the 14th.


    Andrew Eisen

  2. massoluk says:

     Guys… The banning of the gaming website is unrelated to the suicide. It’s a coincidence.

    It’s the wording, Bangkok Post decided to put the two gaming related news together in one article.

    A) They decided to ban illegal gambling websites.

    B) Then a few days later, a kid suicided.

    c) Then the gambling websites banning went into effect.

    The kid suicide has nothing to do with the banning of gambling websites.

  3. Father Time says:

    Nobody should be protected, by force of law, from insults and criticisms especially not someone with power (like the king).


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  4. JD says:

    Bravo, Thailand!  What better way to encourage the suicide of the gaming-addicted than to take away their games.

  5. Aurontsubaki says:

    Where’s Alex Jones when you need him.

    What we got here is failure to communicate!

  6. Austin_Lewis says:

    Have you ever even been to THAILAND?  

    It’s a country in turmoil right now, so its to be expected that some ridiculous shit may well occur. 

    As for protecting their king from insults, their king is a good leader, far better than their last 2 presidents, and much more liked by the vast majority of inhabitants.  How is their law protecting the king any different from our law saying we can’t threaten harm to our president?

    Your argument is idiotic, and you have no fucking clue why so many people in Thailand hate their government.  But here’s a quick tip; this isn’t even on the list of reasons.

  7. TBoneTony says:

    Also of lots of Tailand gamers commit suicide because Tailand banned Computer games, the government would just say that they have stopped Videogame Addiction…

    That is just how irrisponsible and innsensitive how Tailand Government are.

    They would rather make laws to protect their King from insults, but they are free enough to insult everyone else in their society.

    No wonder why so many people hate their own government in that country.


  8. TBoneTony says:

    This is totally irrisponsible for a government to bann Videogames from almost everyone all because of one suicide innident.

    There will be more people committing suicide if they had to bann Sport or Religion in Tailand.

    I feel sorry for all Tailand gamers, they don’t deserve this sort of bullying and harassment by their own government.


  9. hellfire7885 says:

    There’s doing what’s easy, and doign what’s right. Governments choose the former.

  10. crazywes76 says:

     Thailand always looks for an excuse to ban a website they deem to be bad.  They banned a bunch of websites after the coup in ’06.  Granted Walking street in pattaya is going full swing still but hey why have one standard when you can double it.  

  11. Wormdundee says:

    I suppose that’s a good lesson, but I think it’s a bit premature to be related to this story. I have a hard time believing that this had anything to do with videogame addiction. I’m thinking an accidental fall, or he was already somehow mentally messed up and this just pushed him over the edge.

    Face it, normal 12 year olds don’t commit suicide because they can’t play games.

  12. sortableturnip says:

    For crying out loud!   Suicide over video games????   VIDEO GAMES?!?!?!  There has to be more to this story…

  13. MartyB says:

     C’mon guys, you have to look at the bigger picture…

    Gouverment Bans games and gambling sites

    after X months passes, Gov says after investigating, games and gambling sites needs to be better regulated

    Goverment opens they’re own gambling sites, and take all profits for themselves.

  14. Darqmugwump says:

    I think youtube is one of the sites that have been banned in thailand because of a video insulting the king

    hey, talking about double standard, walking street is still going full swing but let’s not forget adult websites and pornography are banned in thailand. I suppose guys getting relief in front of a screen are not helping the local economy? well you can still get them from from the stalls where they sell cracked videogames and films pirated in the theaters, stalls that you can find everywhere in the street, in the official big hyper modern shopping malls… ah well it’s not the local economy I guess?

     a lot of names in thailand start by "porn" but I didnt hear of them committing suicide 😕


  15. TBoneTony says:

    Sorry about that.

    And no I have never been to Thailand, I was only just recalling from various stories of this man who was jailed in Thailand all because he had written a book that somehow offended the Thailand king.

    That was all I was refering too, Plus I am sure the king is a good leader, but there also needs to be a way for freedom of speech to occour without anyone being sent to jail for offending someone.

    To me, that might be something about the sensitivity of the Thailand Government.


  16. hellfire7885 says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the king never saw said book and it was someone speaking for him, which is usually the case, like a musical artist who genuinely wants to sign something for you but gets pushed along by his agent.

    If it did genuinely offend, then he’s thin skinned.

  17. LAG - Law Abiding Gamer says:

    Agreed, hence my "…so do we here in the U.S….from time to time." comment

    **Homicide-free video gaming since 1972!***

  18. Father Time says:

    Any government can become opressive, even a democracy.

    Although I didn’t know it was a democracy when I put the tyranny quote.


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  19. Krit says:

    He’d just make the piracy situation worse with legislations to ban certain games that’ll probably pass through faster than a bullet leaving the barrel of a gun.

  20. SS says:

    reminds of the time some goats chased us and butt raped a felllow schoolmate in a himalyan hike.

    completely true and completly crazy. 

  21. Firebird says:

    Whoooaa….. Zip. Are you on Ritalin or something? I expected something crazier from you…

    If you want to encrypt something, make something out of an lolcat subtitle-style.

  22. ZippyDSMlee says:

    When you chase goats you they don’t need a reason to exscape


    I am a criminal because I purchase media,I am a criminal because I use media, I am a criminal because I chose to own media..We shall remain criminals until Corporate stay’s outside our bedrooms..

  23. LAG - Law Abiding Gamer says:

    Actually, Thailand is mostly a democracy, with an elected Prime Minister and Parliament.  His Majesty the King rarely gets involved in politics at this level.  He has governmental powers, but doesn’t exercise them. 

    However, they seem to have a little difficulty from time to time understanding how it’s really supposed to work…of course, so do we here in the U.S….from time to time.

    Maybe we can get Leland Yee to move there.  It’s a beautiful place, and he can realy sling out the poopoo "legislation" that he seems to love.  I’m sure he’d be much happier!

    ***Homicide-free video gaming since 1972!***

  24. Father Time says:

    Remember boys and girls oppressive governments will take any excuse they can to opress their people even further, often times they don’t even need any excuse.

    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." — C.S. Lewis


    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  25. KayleL says:

    I knew someone with the last name of 29 charaters (in Latin based characters). The school records had to shorten his last name so there is enough room to see the first name.

  26. DarkSaber says:

    Since when was Thailand part of China?


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  27. Saxy says:

    Yeah, this is dumb, even for China.

    On another note, this is the 2nd suicide story from China I’ve heard of today…

  28. Firebird says:

    Pongsathorn Wattanabenjasopha?

    Well… I’d honestly kill myself with a name like that….oh well, cultural differences.

    I really don’t have anything to say in regard to the ban and suicide that most people on this site already feel.

  29. Arell says:

    Perhaps he was troubled by the fact that he was 12 and still couldn’t spell his last name?

  30. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Wut? Dose my coherency  scare you? 😛

    Like everywhere the politicians have found a scapegoat to rape and claim victory over a non exsistant issue.


    I am a criminal because I purchase media,I am a criminal because I use media, I am a criminal because I chose to own media..We shall remain criminals until Corporate stay’s outside our bedrooms..

  31. Blu300 says:

    Haha, you and your logic. Everyone knows all those kids would grow up to be murderers anyway….

  32. Roh02 says:

    they say he killed himself because he had his ability to play games taken away their response was to take away the ability to play games from an untold number of people … yeah thats really smart

    they cant come up with a decent solution based on what they think (or lie about?) is true let alone what is actually true

  33. gamadaya says:

    What’s with all these addiction problems in East Asia? We don’t seem to have that bad of a problem over here. Although the trend here seems to be to injure or neglect children over videogames. Oh well, to each his own…

    Oh, and Thailand is fascist and and they’re Nazis and blah blah blah.


    Believe in something! Even if it’s wrong, believe in it! -Glenn Beck

  34. SeanB says:

    "Given his age he was most likely doing one of those attention getting tricks and fell by accident."

    Sadly, this is probably right.

  35. Aliasalpha says:

    Damn man, thats messed up. Given his age he was most likely doing one of those attention getting tricks and fell by accident. There were no witness quotes though, wonder how they got the info that the game ban was the final catalyst, did he leave a note, tell a friend or stand on the balcony shouting "If I can’t play guitar hero metallica then I don’t want to live anymore"

    Who knows, perhaps that was the most notable argument provoking incident and they’re working on that as a possible causal factor and its now being cynically exploited as a tool to maipulate people.

    Messed up anyway, poor bastard.


    Whats worse is that his name starts with Pong, banning him from games must feel like banning him from himself!

  36. Krit says:

    Nah, more like because they won’t be able to use it as a reason to do something else in this case…

  37. hellfire7885 says:

    "But it would seem reasonable for the Thai government to at least conduct some sort of investigation before closing down online game websites."


    Nope, they won’t be doing that. That would take money, and actual effort, two big no nos for any government. Better to ban something so you can do soemthing without actually doign anything. amirite?

  38. JustChris says:

    When will the government learn that they are not designed to think for themselves, but just do hard work that reflect the needs of others? 

    At its core, a government is made to facilitate and delegate tasks that take away too much time from average citizens, and the citizens give them orders to carry out those tasks. They are expendable, diplomatic tools for our use, nothing more. (limited year terms emphasize their expendability)


  39. GoodRobotUs says:

    What an amzing way to use someone’s else’s tragedy to exploit your own propoganda!


    Betcha there’s a whole load of factors in the kids life that have been conveniently ignored because they were ‘inconvenient’, when a straw breaks a camels’ back, do you blame the individual straw, or the man who overloaded the camel in the first place?

    I suppose it depends if you were looking for an excuse to ban straw in the first place…

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