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Reader Comments (27)

Posted: Jan 1st 2009 4:36PM Abriael said

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Bringing in the police was definately a good idea, for the kid's own good. Wheter an arrest was warranted or not, I'm not sure, but I would have called the police as well. Wheter the threat is real or not, better to let professionals handle it.

Posted: Jan 1st 2009 5:24PM Nadril said

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An arrest probably just meant they took him to the station and he had to do some paperwork, for community service or something. Well warranted I think -- no need having some kid thinking he can get away with whatever he wants by crying wolf.
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Posted: Jan 1st 2009 5:10PM Graill440 said

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This is brought to you by a slice of the demographics in WOW "your community". It is to chuckle.

Posted: Jan 1st 2009 9:08PM Idle said

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What he said.
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Posted: Jan 1st 2009 5:21PM ultimateq said

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I wonder what he was trying to get.

Posted: Jan 1st 2009 5:50PM TheJackman said

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Blizzard support still kinda sucks but its miles ahead of the support of EA (include Warhammer) and at the other side of the earth form Age of Conan.

But a answer of Blizzard support (if not a ingame issue) can take days and before that you get a standard answer email that pretty much does not help you with anything. Also Game Masters late a lot to answer your tickets and worst part is that you have to be online for they can help you even for the more clear simple request!

Yeah MMO support have a long way to go still!!

Posted: Jan 1st 2009 6:42PM (Unverified) said

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Hey Hey, Blizzard has the best on-hold music of any place I've ever called, it was a joy to call their customer service.

That being said, on the topic at hand, Blizzard is completely in the right here. Calling the police was the right decision, even if it was to just make sure the kid got the help he needed. This is a sad state of affairs though, this kid needs professional help and (judging by the fact the article says he's underage) needs the assistance of his parents. Get those idiots involved :p

Posted: Jan 1st 2009 6:44PM (Unverified) said

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I think Blizzard did the right thing here.

Not only to save a life, but they cover themselves as well. IIRC, in some areas, ignoring a suicide attempt or the threat of one is a criminal act. As well as opening themselves up to civil liabilities.

"My son killed himself. he told you he was going to do it, and you did nothing to stop it."

Yeah, huge lawsuit there.

Bliz did right there, all around.

Posted: Jan 1st 2009 7:21PM (Unverified) said

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Although what the kid said was kind of stupid, I hate seeing people getting arrested for saying something

Posted: Jan 1st 2009 8:50PM (Unverified) said

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Threatening (or attempting) suicide itself can get you arrested and charged in some jurisdictions.
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Posted: Jan 1st 2009 9:04PM (Unverified) said

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I donno, words are just words....
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Posted: Jan 2nd 2009 1:08AM (Unverified) said

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True - but some usages of words are against the law in some places. Words can constitute assault in some jurisdictions (the USA, for example where words and/or bodily posture constitutes assault, but actual physical harm is battery).

You can't yell 'fire' in a theater if there is no fire. Some jurisdictions criminalize certain combinations of words or physical appearance as 'causing public fear'.

Words are words, but sociopolitical rules and laws may give them considerably more significance. It's been that way for at least a couple centuries now.
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Posted: Jan 1st 2009 7:56PM (Unverified) said

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this a strategy that is used by those who have banned useing glider.

people who glide always ask "how can i get my account back" and a common thing said to them on the glider forums "tell you sucidal and this game is the only thing in your life"

Sorry my english and spelling suck. But yeah 20 bucs says he just lost an account for glideing and got arrested for a false threat...

Posted: Jan 1st 2009 7:57PM Ripper McGee said

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I definitely think Blizzard did the right thing. At minimum, getting the police involved was the quickest way to ensure the teen didn't harm himself. Are the Blizzard reps qualified to triage potential suicide cases? Probably not - turn them over to professionals and let them take care of it. Once he's processed, the police/courts can have somebody evaluate him to see if he's truly a danger to himself, others or if he's just an ignorant little asshat.

Also, there's the issue of liability, as another poster mentioned, although this should always take backseat to safety concerns, IMO.

All-in-all, this was a good move on Blizzard's part. Hopefully the kid truly isn't suicidal, but if he is they probably helped avert a tragedy and the authorities will get the teen the assistance he needs (hopefully).

~Ripper

Posted: Jan 2nd 2009 12:28AM fatpanda said

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"for falsely claiming that he would commit suicide"

How do they know it is a false claim?

Posted: Jan 2nd 2009 6:21AM Krystalle Voecks said

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Per the original article, when the police went to check on him, he said it was "a joke." Thus, false claim.
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Posted: Jan 2nd 2009 1:36AM Graill440 said

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The potential for litigation in both the gaming environment and the forum environment is huge. It is simply a matter of time before the first big case turns the MMO world on its ear.

Maybe the loss of some of this kids freedom, and there will be loss, will show him/her/it that consequence exists.

Posted: Jan 2nd 2009 1:58AM (Unverified) said

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Some people might say that would be a loss of net neutrality.. =P
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Posted: Jan 2nd 2009 6:43AM Mystal said

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Not enough information is provided to know if it was appropriate to contact the police or whether it was appropriate for them to charge him with a criminal count of anything.

If the kid was acting as though he was imminently going to commit suicide, then I'd say calling the cops was the right thing.

I'm not really sure what the grounds are for charging him with a crime, although it's certainly stupid and irresponsible to claim you're suicidal if you're not, just to get your way with a GM.

Posted: Jan 2nd 2009 2:26PM Darkdust said

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I had a similar experience where I reported a suicidal player to SOE, and they said there was nothing they could do. (!)

I did manage to get in touch with his local police department myself, and he's okay now, but the company could have done so MUCH more quickly than what it took for me to do that.

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