London - A coroner on Wednesday urged parents to stop their children using adult videogames after a boy of 14 hanged himself after playing Call Of Duty.
Callum Green regularly played the Certificate 18 game with his stepfather despite it featuring gruesome scenes of soldiers trying to kill each other.
The boy’s behaviour deteriorated and, after being grounded by his mother following a row, he was found hanging by his school tie from his bunk bed.
At the inquest, coroner John Pollard issued a warning to parents to ensure children do not have access to adult-only videogames.
He said: “The age limitations on these various computer games are there for a very valid reason and I do see the evidence of inappropriate computer games.
“It’s very important that young children don’t play them or have access to them. I make a plea with parents to keep a very close eye on their children in that way.”
Earlier this year, Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik claimed he had “trained himself” to kill his 77 victims by playing Call Of Duty.
French terrorist Mohammed Merah also played Call Of Duty before killing three soldiers and four civilians – including a Rabbi and three children – in Toulouse in March.
The violence in Call of Duty has been criticised by the London Jewish Forum, the British Muslim Forum and Church of England ministers.
Wednesday’s inquest was told Callum, of Brinnington, Stockport, frequently played the game with his stepfather, David White.Callum’s mother, Emma Green, admitted she knew about the game’s age restriction but had allowed him to play.
She said: “Callum was 14, 15. He was very mature. Kids play worse games than that. He was allowed to play Call Of Duty but not other games. He was only allowed a few hours on the PC.
“Does that make me a bad parent because I let him play those games? I banned him from other games where they slash their throats and stuff, I stopped him playing that, but Call Of Duty I didn’t.”
The court heard the schoolboy had argued with his parents after repeatedly asking his 13-year-old girlfriend whether she wanted to have a baby with him. She said: “He kept asking if I would have a kid with him and I said no, I’d only just turned 13. He said he wanted to get away from home.”
Days before he died, Callum was grounded by his parents because he had not returned from his girlfriend’s home until 11.20pm. On the afternoon of his death he had been off school with a sprained ankle and had argued with his younger sister when she came home.
A plate had been smashed in the kitchen and Callum had gone to his bedroom to use his computer, although his family believed he was only surfing Facebook and YouTube.
At around 4.50pm, his mother went upstairs and found Callum hanging by a tie from his bunk bed.
Recording an open verdict, Stockport coroner Mr Pollard told the family: “For whatever reason and it is, I’m afraid, somewhat mysterious, Callum just decided that he was going to put the tie around his neck and suspend himself from the bunk beds.
“Was that with the intention of killing himself or just to give you a shock, we don’t know.”
Miss Green said her son had never given any indication of wanting to harm himself or being unhappy.
Teachers at Callum’s school, Audenshaw High, said they could find no evidence that he had been bullied there. - Daily Mail