On Tuesday, Noida Police recovered the dead bodies of a mother and her daughter from their residence in Gaur City 2, Greater Noida. The duo was attacked with a bat and then stabbed several times with a pair of scissors. Prima facie the police suspected their 16-year-old missing son to be the culprit. And now it appears the teen was inspired by a violent online game called High School Gangster Escape.
Speaking to City Spidey, the father, Soumya Agarwal, revealed that the teenager was indeed hooked to High School Gangster, which asked participants to perform violent tasks such as causing hurt or injury to others.
“He used to spend hours playing this game," he said. "I had been witnessing a change in his attitude for quite some time, and his grades were also going down. In September, I had to take his cell phone away. I could see him playing this destructive game, and I started worrying.”
“This game is about escaping the High School. Participants need to select weapons to hit and kill security guards. There are security cameras to monitor every crime move. They escape to the city of gangsters. Killing, stealing, destroying things are part of this game,” Agarwal further explained.
However, nothing can be said with certainty at this point.
According to the father, it could also be that the crimes were committed by professional killers and that his son was being held captive by them. He said, “The murders were well executed, as the killer left no clues," he said. "My wife and daughter were murdered in their sleep. There was no sign of any force. The house was not ransacked.”
The father said the family of six was a happy one, and there were no problems.
“My boy shared a strong bond with his mother and sister. I don’t know where my son is at this point — the police should focus on finding him. His life could be under threat too,” he said.
But if the son is indeed found responsible for the murders, the game developer should be held equally culpable, iterated the father. The police should, he added, arrest the game developer and not his son.
The father's comment also raises an important issue. How safe is the internet for our children? Close on the heels of the shocking online game The Blue Whale Challenge — which encouraged individuals to try violent actions, ultimately daring them to commit suicide — this new game points to a particularly disturbing trend. How many lives will be lost and how many innocent minds warped before something is done about it?