John Pollard, a coroner in Stockport, UK, has said he is concerned that Call of Duty has been mentioned during several of his inquests. Call of Duty, which is rated 18, was mentioned during a report on schoolboy William Menzies, 16, who was found dead in his room after constantly playing the game. Pollard said:
I have to say, and this is after three or four inquests into the deaths of teens, the Call of Duty game seems to be figuring in recent activity before death. It concerns me greatly. It has figured in a number of deaths which I’m investigating.
Det Insp David Moores of Greater Manchester Police said there was nothing to indicate why William had killed himself, and the coroner believes the cause of death was asphyxia by plastic bag, but has no idea why this was there. Pollard presided over a similar case, in Callum Green, 14, hanged himself after playing Call of Duty with his stepfather in February 2012.
There’s certainly an element here showing why children should not be allowed to play games when the rating is clearly 18, but everyone in the gaming community is certainly aware that this problem exists with all of the popular violent games, such as Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto. However, is this another attempt by the media to demonize games where they had no involvement, or is it a valid concern?