CAMPAIGNERS have again warned about the dangers of online game addiction after a teenager in Vietnam allegedly killed a seven-year-old girl for her earrings to feed his video game habit, Sky News reported today.
Mong The Xuong, 15, confessed to luring the youngster into woods in Nghe An province in the north central coast of Vietnam and beating her to death with a rock, police say.
He told police he killed Anh Nhu because he did not have money to play online games at an internet cafe near his home in Yen Hoa.
Locals said the high school pupil often spent hours at internet cafes every day, playing Vo Lam Truyen Ky (Swordsman Online) — a violent, massively popular multi-player game in Vietnam, based on Chinese kung fu stories.
According to his confession, Mong lured the girl into woods near their village on May 23 by asking her if she wanted to help him pick fruit to sell at a local market.
He told police he suddenly pushed her down a 20-foot (six meter) rocky drop near a stream before climbing down and beating her repeatedly on the back of the head with a rock, hoping people would think she suffered her injuries in the fall.
Online Gamers Anonymous (OGA), a US-based support group for addicts, said the killing – and the level of violence used – highlighted the need for action to be taken to restrict excessive gaming.
“Until governments around the world recognize 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,” said Elizabeth Woolley, who set up OGA after her son Shawn committed suicide because of his addiction to online games.