The mysterious Pokémon song that led to children’s suicides

The mysterious Pokémon song that led to children's suicides

Over the past few years, it has been relatively frequent to attribute certain prejudices to video games in the formation of children. Alienation, trivialization of violence, and even epileptic seizures.

Is there any truth to the legend that Pokémon caused suicides?

However, these epileptic conditions have existed only occasionally and no deaths have been documented. Entertainment companies have tried to minimize the social alarm in these cases, since it is true, they argue, that television, midnight lights and other lighting circumstances can trigger such attacks.

While the general concern about video games was intense in the 1990s, there is one case that caused a huge stir: In 1995, Game Freak released its first video game of Pokémon , the famous Red and Green versions.

Reality Overcomes Fiction

At the outset they had an acceptable sales range, exceeding one million cartridges sold in one year, but far from the magnitude that the phenomenon reached in subsequent years. The game was launched in February, and that same summer 107 cases of suicide among young people between 6 and 12 years of age had already been counted .

The investigations into each of the deaths led to a common circumstance that pointed to the Pokémon video game as the culprit. In each and every case recorded, the parents of the deceased children noted that their children played Pokémon day and night.

After analysing the cartridges, the police realised that the last town where the children played was the Lavender People, whose land was livened up by a very characteristic sound. The Lavender Village song contained moments of high intensity in the tones that could only be heard by the children. Strident and overwhelming sounds that caused headaches that led to severe migraines , followed by insomnia and irritability. In spite of the crude symptoms, his addiction to video games did not cease. The inability to sleep led to nosebleeds, nausea and vomiting, and finally depression.

The culprit, a double tone that caused headaches and anxiety

Alerted by these cases, Game Freak corrected the tune, preventing the following versions marketed in Europe and the United States from containing the dangerous song. Sources at Game Freak said that the later song is almost identical to the original.

They simply removed some squeaks that caused double-tone melodies in the original music , sounds that could only be perceived by children because of their high spectrum.

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