A coroner has linked the violent computer game Call of Duty to teenage deaths as he ruled on the suicide of a 16-year-old boy.
The warfare game, which features soldiers killing each other, has been widely criticised for its violence.
Speaking about teenage death inquests he had presided over, coroner John Pollard said it ‘concerns him greatly’ that Call of Duty – which has sold 100 million copies worldwide – “seems to be figuring in recent activity before death”.
His comments came as he ruled on the case of William Menzies, an academically gifted schoolboy who was found dead at home in February this year.
The coroner 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.
“I suspect but I don’t know because I don’t have enough evidence, that William may have been experimenting with something or deliberately intending to do something but we haven’t got evidence.”
Menzies “always” played the game, according to his father, but: “Nothing about him caused concern”.
“He was rather self-contained, he didn’t like going out a great deal. He didn’t drink or smoke, he was the opposite to that”, John Menzies told the hearing.
His son had achieved twelve A-grade GCSEs and was studying for A-levels.
Pollard previously spoke out against violent computer games in 2012 when another teenager committed suicide in a death linked to Call of Duty.
He said: “The age limitations on these various computer games are there for a very valid reason. Why, quite frankly, anybody would want to be playing them, I don’t know.
“It is 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.”
Activision, which publishes the game, declined to respond to Pollard’s latest comments.