It seems a South Florida college student killed himself earlier today by overdosing on drugs in front of a live online audience as some computer users egged him on, some debated his method, and others tried to talk him out of it.
From the AP as reported in USA Today under their “Technology” section:
Montana Miller, an assistant professor of popular culture at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, said Biggs’ very public suicide was not shocking, given the way teenagers chronicle every facet of their lives on sites like Facebook and MySpace.
“If it’s not recorded or documented then it doesn’t even seem worthwhile,” she said. “For today’s generation it might seem, ‘What’s the point of doing it if everyone isn’t going to see it?”‘
She likened Biggs’ death to other public ways of committing suicide, like jumping off a bridge.
Crane said she knows of a case in which a Florida man shot himself in the head in front of an online audience, though she didn’t know how much viewers saw. In Britain last year, a man hanged himself while chatting online.
In a statement, Justin.tv CEO Michael Seibel said: “We regret that this has occurred and want to respect the privacy of the broadcaster and his family during this time.”
Gee, you’d think if he was going to put on a show, a gun might have been involved… How disappointing.
Update: Another lurid take on the story.