Suicide game developer tackles Telegraph

Rejects outcry against Flash title.

Dave Lasala, creator of controversial Flash game Billy Suicide, has hit back at organisations campaigning for its removal from the internet.

His comments come after The Telegraph contacted the Samaritans and PAPYRUS (Prevention of Young Suicide), and printed responses claiming the game was both "irresponsible" and a "catalyst to influence the behaviour of people who are already vulnerable" to suicide.

"I wanted the game Billy Suicide to be an exaggerated self-portrait," Dave Lasala explained to Eurogamer. "I also wanted to use it to look at a difficult subject with a sense of humour. I feel I have some authority on the subject, having rescued two brothers from suicide attempts.

"Anyway, it seems to me that people blame violent art, angry music and horror movies for negative behaviour because it's easier to reduce complex issues down to a neat one-sentence solution, like, 'If there were no violent movies there would be no violence.'

"I would encourage everyone to check out the Oscar-winning documentary Bowling for Columbine for an in-depth examination of this behaviour. That being said, the object of the game Billy Suicide is to keep him alive," he added.

Billy Suicide, which you can play on Funny-Games, casts players as the titular character who must survive a day without topping himself.

The skill comes in juggling Mental Health and Financial Health slider bars. The former ping-pongs between Depression and Anxiety, with Stable the safe middle-ground. Activities such as drinking coffee, watching TV, playing guitar - Billy is a musician - and watching pornography affect this slider.

Meanwhile, the Financial Health slider is pushed up by making money on your computer, but gradually deteriorates when doing just about anything else.

Keep Billy alive until the evening and his girlfriend rewards him. But fail, and he'll swing from the rafters or blow his own brains out.

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About the author

Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer  |  Clert

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.


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