Link to autism found in video death case

A 14-year-old boy who allegedly stabbed his mother to death was autistic and had been playing an extremely violent game before the attack, a senior police officer said.

Police say their inquiries will now turn to consulting child experts on whether playing violent video games can influence the behaviour of autistic children.

The game that the boy played regularly is Point Blank, a violent online first-person shooter.

Deputy Metropolitan Police Bureau commissioner Pol Maj Gen Manit Wongsomgboon said the boy, whose name has been withheld, has a history of autism. Experts will be consulted about whether violent games pose a danger to autistic children, he said.

The bureau will randomly inspect game shops around Bangkok which offer gaming to children under 15 years of age outside of normal operating hours.

Police will also inspect the game shop frequented by the boy to see what types of games are available to youth there.

The boy showed no sign of abnormality after being sent to Ban Metta remand home for juvenile delinquents, Thanit Sriyapan, the director-general of the Juvenile Observation and Protection Department said.

He said the teen showed remorse and realised that he would no longer have his mother.

The boy was arrested at his house in Saphan Sung district of Bangkok on Wednesday after allegedly stabbing his mother to death and attacking his elder sister with a knife, injuring her.

Police said the boy committed the crimes after being scolded for playing video games excessively.

He was sent to Ban Metta remand home yesterday.

Monthon Panjapol, director of the remand home, said further psychological tests would be conducted on the boy.

Adisak Palitpolkarnpim, head of the Child Safety Promotion and Injury Prevention Research Centre at Ramathibodi Hospital said video game addiction is a type of mental illness.

Children with "fragile" mental states are more likely to imitate what they see, Dr Adisak said.

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Writer: King-oua Laohong
Position: Reporter