A fifteen year old boy from Vietnam has admitted to killing a seven year old girl to fund his video game addiction.
The teenager, Mong The Xuong, admitted to luring the seven year old girl, named as Anh Nhu, into woods on the north central coast of Vietnam, and beating her to death with a stone. He claimed he killed the girl because he did not have any money to pay online games in his local internet cafe.
It is believed that the 9th grade student was a regular in the internet cafe, and would spend hours every day playing Vo Lam Truyen Ky, or Swordsmen Online – a very popular online multiplayer which is based on Chinese kung fu stories.
Mong alledgedly admitted to luring the girl into the woods on May 23rd, by asking if she would help him to pick fruits to sell at a local market. He then pushed her down a 20ft rocky drop, close to a stream, before jumping down and beating her to death with a rock he found nearby. Sky News reported that Mong admitted to hoping people would think she had suffered head injuries in the fall. He then cut off her earrings, cut them into pieces and hid them in the leg of his wardrobe, secured in paper.
Anh Nhu’s death is one of many worldwide being linked with online game addiction. Online Gamers Anonymous – an American support group for addicts – said that the amount of violence shown in the killing highlighted the need to restrict excessive gaming. The founder of Online Gamers Anonymous, who set up the organization after her son committed suicide due to his addiction to online games, released a statement reading:
“Until Governments around the World recognise it’s a problem, it’s just going to keep getting worse and worse in terms of murders and crimes caused by excessive and obsessive online game play. It’s exactly like drugs and alcohol – once people get addicted, they feel they have to have it. There are always certain people who will get addicted to a drug, and in gaming we estimate it’s around 20 – 30% of people.”
The UKIE, The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment, who represent businesses involved in the UK video game industry, also released a statement.
“There is currently no proven link between video games and addiction, with there being mixed opinion among academics about whether a game can be clinically addictive. Playing games is a hobby – just like reading, listening to music or playing a sport – that millions of people around the World engage in safely every day.”
“UKIE is aware of some individuals that play game excessively but often the causes of many of the unfortunate cases that we hear about are down to other underlying medical, social or environmental issues concerning the individuals involved.”