“An appealing, macabre, and fun card game, the goal of which is to put an end to your existence, or push the others to do so (not for real, obviously)”. It is written in black and white in the advertisement which announces the arrival of “Suicidium”, a new game that involves well-known names from Italian comic books. We cannot know what effects can possibly have this “simulation” on the minds and hearts of the adolescents, in particular on the minds of those who have problems.
The new pastime created by a new Italian association, the Kinderkammer, comprises 100 cards. If one pays more attention to the details of the regulation, other facts can be discovered. The goal is to die or make someone die in two different ways, on two levels: “In survivor mode – write the designers of the game – the goal is, as the name itself suggests, survival. One has to remain the last character alive in the game. In depression mode, on the other hand, the goal will be to set back to zero the so-called ”will points” before anyone else. When the ”will points” come to zero, the player has to draw from a separate pack, a card-object (blade, noose, poison or suicides cab), then start the game all over again”.
Needless to emphasize the potential damage of linking “for fun”, depression and suicide in children’s minds, showing also a myriad of ways to commit it: through hanging, using weapons, suffocation, poisons, and so on… In an increasingly individualistic and relativist world, suicide is a plague we have to deal with. When human beings are left alone with their sorrows and unease, without the aid of the institutions and the comfort of prayer, thoughts about committing suicide becomes something more than merely a possibility. Economic crisis has worsened the situation, and statistics show disturbing numbers. Suicide, for some people, is the only escape they are able to imagine, provoking thus also other dramas: children who lose their parents and husbands or wives who have to face the burden of a mourning in addition to economic problems. Often, it is depression that works as a silent killer before the final act. And the risk becomes more evident precisely when “will reaches the zero point”, to put it in the game’s terms.
Hence, one should not joke about such a topic. It is not a game, it should not be a game. Trivialization is not a way to exorcise fear, but to bring our minds closer – especially the most vulnerable – to the alleged normality of an act that is extreme.
The use of the “game” to convey a message of death and violence, sometimes even esotericism and occultism, is one of the most widespread strategies. The word “game” itself, in fact, evokes innocence, youth, laughter, and smiles… The most beautiful things one can propose to adolescents. This is the reason why the Trojan horse, via contradictory messages, most of the times is disguised as a game. Contents transmitted this way are perceived with more ease, because they go beyond the threshold of consciousness. A slap in the face of innocence.
Especially if the players are young people who are already bombarded with video games and movies in which violence is the daily bread, where the difference between sexes is optional, where family and its fundamental values are ridiculed, where even obligatory feasts are replaced by appointments in which the monster has a leading role. This is the general project proposed by the third millennium to contemporary society. If one refuses to see it, (s)he ignores reality; a thing that is not difficult to implement considering that, at present, everything is more or less virtual.
Among the OECD countries, in Italy is recorded one of the lowest levels of mortality due to suicide. Is this is the reason why it was chosen to spread propaganda, almost as if it were a land of conquest for a commercial sector? And what is ”on sale”, is the very essence of human beings, that is, life!
According to the latest research conducted by Istat, in Italy there is a high rate of death cases through hanging and suffocation; and the promotional video clip of the game opens with the offer of a nice rope with which to make a knot around one’s neck.
Left aside the rather important fact that incitement to suicide is a crime (art. 580 of the Italian penal code), Istat concludes its informative note with a chilling sentence, that should give shivers in the light of this macabre madness disguised as a game: “We should remember that suicide is an event with a strong component of emulation, and the means of information must handle this topic responsibly”. But if suicide becomes a game…