A 16-year-old boy from Hyderabad who was addicted to the popular video game PUBG, sent his parents into a tizzy after he faked his own kidnapping, because he was reportedly upset at his phone being taken away.
Police said that the boy was a resident of Puppalaguda and had been preparing for the IIT entrance exam. While he was reported to be a bright student, his grades had repeatedly been falling over the last four months, after he became addicted to the video game.
Upset that his mother took away the phone, the boy left home on October 11, stating that he was going to meet a friend, but did not return. He was also reported to have taken some money from home.
The boy reportedly then borrowed a mobile phone of a passerby, changed his voice and called his mother, stating that her son was kidnapped, and demanded a ransom of Rs 3 lakh. The parents then approached the police.
A day later, on October 12, the boy booked a ticket to Macherla in Guntur District, where his maternal grandparents lived, and upon receiving a message on the mother's phone, the police rushed to a bus stop in Hyderabad and picked up the boy.
"The boy was depressed and undergoing what looked like withdrawal symptom. He was traced to MGBS at around 5 pm on Saturday and was handed over to his parents and advised to provide counselling,” Raidurgam inspector S. Ravinder was quoted as saying.
Seeing the rising trend of video game addiction, the World Health Organisation (WHO) in June 2018 had declared the endemic as a mental health disorder. The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) it issued at the time listed gaming addiction as a disorder.