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US man kills himself 'live' on gamers' forum

Controversy surrounds suicide

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A 20-year-old US man is reported to have killed himself live on a webcam on Bulgarian gamers' forum www.metalgearsolid.org, according to AFP and other agencies. Mitchell "Mitch" Lee Stuekerjuergen, aka "Kuja105", reportedly swallowed antifreeze and pills "after complaining about family problems and a lack of money", forum administrator Boyan Georgiev is said to have told Bulgaria's BGNES news agency on Wednesday. Stuekerjuergen subesquently died on 4 January in hospital in Illinois.

A certain amount of controversy surrounds the whole sorry affair, with some claiming that other forum members "thought the man was joking, even though he rambled for six hours about the effects of the substances and disappeared from view several times", as AFP puts it. The webcam part of the story is also disputed.

This alleged misreporting has not impressed the gaming community. One indignant Slashdotter fumed yesterday: "Pulling from the AFP newswire, Yahoo, CNN, and others have been reporting about how a gamer broadcast his own suicide on a gaming forum via a webcam, and that members of the forum continued to ridicule the gamer while he killed himself. Gaming Horizon has just learned that this is completely untrue. The newswire reporter failed to check the facts, and, in turn, painted this simple gaming forum as cruel monsters."

As a result of the suicide the forum was recently "pulled offline via the request of a government agency pending an investigation regarding the unfortunate passing of TUS forum member, Mitchell Stuekerjuergen", as a site statement notes.

It is now back online with a number of tributes to Stuekerjuergen. ®

Bootnote

The Gaming Horizon version of events can be found here. It states, in part:

Earlier this month, gamer named Mitchell S. with the online screenname "Kuja105" who posts on a few online videogame forums (including GameFaqs.com and MetalGearSolid.org) committed suicide. On January 2 he posted a message in both forums detailing his intent to end his own life, citing overwhelming complications with school and finances.

A very brief period of initial disbelief was followed by a barrage of replies from fellow forum members pleading that he not take his life, trying to talk him out of it.

For days, no word was heard from Mitchell. Fearing the worst, members and administration from metalgearsolid.org began searching for contact information, spending hours on the phone trying to get in touch with him. Finally on January 4, Ryan K., an administrator at metalgearsolid.org, got him on the phone and spent hours desperately trying to talk him out of it.

Sadly, Mitchell soon ended his own life by consuming antifreeze and painkillers

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