Do video games cause violence? It’s a controversial subject. But for one unlucky Hunan woman, video games caused violence in someone who wasn’t playing them: her husband.
29-year-old Mrs. Zha and her husband Mr. Zhu lived together with Zha’s brother in the Zhangwan district of Hunan’s Shiyan city. Zha had a habit of playing online games, sometimes late into the night, which annoyed her husband. On the early morning of March 31, the two got into an argument over her having played until 12:30 A.M. that ended with Zhu impulsively grabbing a knife and stabbing his wife in the neck. When her brother heard the fighting and ran out to mediate the argument, Zhu stabbed him, too.
Zha’s brother, being in better shape that Zha herself, escaped and called the police, who arrived and arrested Mr. Zhu in the apartment. Zha, however, had bled out and was dead by the time the paramedics arrived.
While game-related disputes devolving into homicidal violence is thankfully uncommon, I think this incident and others like it highlight the need for an increased level of understanding between gamers and their families and friends. Open communication in both directions could probably be improved, and perhaps if it is, we’ll see fewer tragedies like this in the future.
That said, please don’t think I’m suggesting that Zha is somehow at fault for her own death because she didn’t communicate clearly with her husband. We have no way of knowing how openly the two discussed her gaming habits prior to the fight, but obviously nothing she could possibly have said or failed to say justifies murder.