Parents of a 16-year-old high school student who committed suicide say that a ‘curse’ from the Dungeons & Dragons game led to his death. A law suit filed by the parents has revived the controversy about the popular fantasy game which is available for home computers.

The parents of the boy who died June 9, 1982, are seeking $1 million plus legal expenses and interest. The suit alleges that Dr. Robert A. Bracey III, principal at Patrick Henry High School in
Virginia, was negligent in allowing the game to be played at the school and was aware of potential dangers posed by the game.

The suit filed at the Hanover Courthouse in Virginia’s Hanover Circuit Court states that Irving Lee ‘Blink’ Pulling II shot himself after a ‘curse’ was placed on him by another ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ player. The lawsuit further says that the curse was ‘Intended to inflict emotional distress upon (Pulling) at a time when he… was already under extreme psychological stress and emotional pressure from playing the game.’

‘Dungeons and Dragons’ is a fantasy-type board and computer game. Players assume the role of mythological characters such as sorcerers and warriors. A character’s qualities, such as strength magic or wisdom, are determined by chance. One player, the ‘dungeon master’ sets the course of the game by placing characters in confrontations who sometimes ‘win’ or ‘die.’

Christian Computing
May-June 1984