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Boy falls onto train tracks while looking at handheld game console

73 Comments

A sixth-grade boy fell onto the tracks of the Yamanote Line at JR Harajuku Station shortly before a train arrived at around 4:45 p.m. on Thursday. The train continued to approach the boy for 30 meters after the driver activated the emergency brake, police said.

The boy avoided serious injury by taking shelter in an emergency refuge area under the platform. He was rescued by a station attendant and taken to hospital where he was treated for minor injuries to his face and knees.

According to JR, the boy had been walking with his mother. He moved away from her toward the edge of the platform and started looking at a handheld game console, according to witnesses.

A spokesperson for the Tokyo Fire and Disaster Management Agency said when the boy was taken to hospital, he told paramedics he had been trying to turn the console on and was not looking where he was going.

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one very lucky boy. lack of supervision on the mothers part, but she probably warned him.

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Oh man, kiddo. Have to be more careful with that! Glad he made it out okay.

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<sarcasm> Handheld consoles are a danger to society and should be banned </sarcasm>

I see too many people doing this. I'm surprised (and somewhat relieved) it doesn't happen more often.

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My sarcasm tags disappeared. Maybe removed by the system. Oh well.

Glad that the kid got out safe and really didn't intend to kill himself.

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These game consoles are turning people into zombies. You can't walk around and play a game at the same time.

The mother should have more responsibility and not let her kid use these games.

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@n3312: completely agree, they're unbelievably dangerous. Fair enough, this was just a kid so I can kind of understand that he wasn't watchful enough. But—this morning, just outside my house, a woman in her mid-30s was almost hit by a delivery van when she crossed the road without checking, completely lost in iPod and Keitai oblivion.

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There's every chance the driver of the train was twiddling with one too. Anyone here ever notice the number of kids/adults riding bicycles twiddling with a phone and with headphones on? They always seem to ride faster in that mode which is odd

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Glad all is well but i have one word for you sunshine: IDIOT.

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"The train continued to approach the boy for 30 meters after the driver activated the emergency break", and the boy continued to play on the console while waitingt to be rescued.

Not an unlikely scenario in modern Japan.

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We need gates like on the nanboku-sen. Open platforms are insane.

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There is no chance that a Yamanote Line driver would be "twiddling with one too". It's impossible not to notice the stupidity of almost all kids and adults riding bicycles here, I simply cannot believe the total lack of common sense displayed whilst riding and walking. Whether it is game consoles or keitai, people are completely oblivious to what is going on around them and, this lack of common sense is displayed by adults and is copied by their children. I could start to go way off topic and talk about bicycle riding habits and the apparent total lack of road safety training given by parents and schools. but I won't. And finally. please change the incorrect use of the word break in the first paragraph; trains have brakes!

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champon-- I think a more likely scenario was that he was probably crying and shaking in fear, haha. I know I would be if I fell onto some train tracks.

Probably played it on his way to the hospital though!

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This is child abuse/neglect. Arrest the mother for abandoning her child and putting him in a dangerous if not deadly situation by ignoring him.

The police then need to investigate why the train "continued to approach the boy for 30 meters after the driver activated the emergency break". This is unacceptable and could have resulted in serious injury or death to that child.

The police need to question ("interrogate") the driver to gain understanding as to how he applied that brake and if it was in an appropriate manner and if he followed all the required procedures. Then they need to go to ("raid") the train company offices to further investigate this near-death happening to see if the train officials can be held responsible.

In addition the boy "told paramedics he had been trying to turn the console on . . " The police need to investigate why it was so distracting to attempt turning on the game console, especially if it was a foreign-made item.

The safety of all children is at risk until these issues are investigated and resolved. The police should instruct all involved (except the boy who is obviously completely innocent in this matter) to “do their best” to prevent further occurrences such as this.

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islandview. A great tongue in cheek post especially paragraph 2; trains weighing tens of tons should of course stop dead when the brakes are applied, not take 30 metres to come to a halt.

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Was it a PSP or a Nintendo DS?

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I always hold my kids hands when walking on the platform -- letting them walk around would scare me too much.

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Richard III: These game consoles are turning people into zombies. You can't walk around and play a game at the same time.

Completely agree, I see SO many people playing games or reading a book while walking, dont watch out when they walk and bump into people and just continue doing what they are doing. annoying as hell.

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as the station staff tried to pull the boy from the emergency refuge after the train passed, the boy was quoted as saying "Let go of me you ass, I only need 5 more medallions to get to the next stage!"

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It's not just hand-held game consoles; people have been doing this with cell phones for ages, and more and more this is becoming the case as game consoles MERGE with cell phones, such as with iPhone and the thousands of game apps. In fact, I see people not only WALKING while using cells or game consoles, but riding BICYCLES (and yes, I do mean game consoles as well -- elbows used to steer the bikes while the person plays PSP with both hands... no joke). It's no surprise this happened, only a surprise it doesn't happen more.

Be careful kid. And mom, tell your kid not to walk and play video games at the same time.

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I'm so pissed off hearing about this. Is anyone really surprised? All these kids have a game console growing out of their hands, it's like a disease, I have kids coming into my class, not even looking ahead, just walking and playing the damn things! I will never buy one for my daughter. I have a Wii, but that's it. In the house, in the living room. How long before we hear someone getting hurt or killed because of not paying attention. The parents need to be slapped for giving in to the kids and thinking it would be a better alternative than to be a proper parent and use old fashioned parenting skills! Where is the common sense here? The game consoles should be in the home, not in the backpacks where irresponsible kids use them at every whim and at every location. Get a life people!!

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@bass4funk

I will never buy one for my daughter.

Ooh! Fatal words! I hope you stick to your promise, but I gave in, and so did all the other parents I know :)

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bass4funk: I agree and disagree with what you are saying. There is a lot of irresponsibility here, with both the kids and parents. And it irks me to no end seeing people weave about the sidewalks (thinking they are going straight, probably) while playing on their phones or game consoles. However, said consoles ARE portable for a purpose, and I don't think they need to be left at home. A lot of kids like to gather and play games together, and while it's not as 'ideal' as the days of old when we played sports, or used our imagination and movement to play around, it is the modern age. But WALKING while playing... that's just plain stupid, and clearly dangerous.

I hope at the very least this kids mother gave him a stern talking to (after comforting the shocked little guy) and said not to do it again.

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@ Debucho : LoL

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I am rapidly getting to the point of -- Let em go and let Darwin sort em out.

The stupid kid's mom is now wondering whom to sue: Hmmm. Nintendo or JR? What to do?

Smith is right, it is just going to get worse. If it is not Mario, it will be Farmville, Pron, or iPods. Telling people to be safe assumes that they are even willing to be alert and paying attention. They don't and they won't. People would rather lose their jobs than stop twittering. Why enable them? I say TOUGH LOVE.

So people suggest putting up more gates and fences. More attendants. More rules. I have a better suggestion, put up a sign asking who really wants to live. Have them raise their hands and ask them to stand aside while everyone else just gets mowed down by a train or what have you.

Maybe it is finally time to thin the herd. Fewer dumb adults now means fewer dumb kids in the future. And fewer dumb kids now is solving a problem that could last for decades. This kid was smart enough to make it to an emergency shelter, he lives. Congratulations. What it shows is that society is ALREADY willing to FORGIVE people for making several fatally stupid errors in succession. Let's not PREVENT fatally stupid errors, please.

Who says everybody has to live to 80?

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um it says he is grade 6 which would make him 12 to 13 years old ? so he probably wasnt with his dear mummy holding his hand! it gave him a shock, he will live, end of story

anyone of you when you were 12 rode a skateboard otherwise than advised, rode a bicycle with 'no hands' to have fun,,, he was just being a kid, who forgot where he was

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"I hope at the very least this kids mother gave him a stern talking to (after comforting the shocked little guy) and said not to do it again."

I guarantee Darwin will be knocking on this kid's door again. But next time he will be on a bicycle with an iPad. Some 45 year old father of three will hit him with his Prius. The kid will go to heaven. The father will go to jail. His family goes to the poorhouse, and the kid's mom gets to sue Toyota. That is messed up, but we KNOW that is the way it is.

And bass4funk, I actually like these games and hand consoles quite a bit. They are great inventions and kids seem to realy enjoy them. Strange as it might seem, I think the game has nothing to do with this story.

From beginning to end, this story is about a kid who did dumb things and did not get killed. Do you think he feels lucky? No. He just wants to get back to his game.

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"I always hold my kids hands when walking on the platform -- letting them walk around would scare me too much."

Is you kid a 12 year old boy? If so, don't be surprised if he's still living at home with his figurine collection 25 years from now.

Back in my day, we didn't need no sticking consoles. I walked around with my nose in a book. Still do. You just need to keep your ears open and remember to glance up every 3rd second.

bass4funk, will you allow your daughter books?

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the boy had been walking with his mother.

That says it all. She probably also had her face glued to her keitai screen as well. Yeah, yeah, kids will be kids, and all that jazz, but a train platform is a dangerous place for adults, better less a 12y/o with his face glued to his Nintendo. So, which was her mistake, letting him walk around a train platform with his face stuck in a Nitendo or not noticing the fruit of her loins walking of the edge of the train platform?

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They should ban the use of all game counsel`s at train stations.

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Boy, where do I begin? A barrage of comments.

@kushujoe She's only 3, so I have some time, hopefully, they will invent virtual mind games where you can walk and chew gum as well as play at the same time.

@smithinjapan

I hope at the very least this kids mother gave him a stern talking to (after comforting the shocked little guy) and said not to do it again.

Stern talking? After that? Are you kidding??? How about a stern Ass-whipping for starters, then we can talk about stern talking. And might I add, my child wouldn't that game console for quite a loooooong time after that.

@klein2

I actually like these games and hand consoles quite a bit. They are great inventions and kids seem to really enjoy them. Strange as it might seem, I think the game has nothing to do with this story.

The game itself has per say nothing to do with the story, however, because of the game, the boy was almost killed, therefore, I think to limit the time and place as to when and where the kid can play the game would be more appropriate than letting the kid just have it 24/7 at every cycle and to play, play and play. There need to be limits set and better parental supervision. Oh, and a bit of vigilance wouldn't hurt either.

@taj As a matter of fact, she does read a lot of books and plays with puzzles. As I said before, she is 3 and she doesn't need a game console now or in the distant future. We got a Wii and that should suffice. Not having a game console will not be catastrophic in her daily upbringing. I don't believe in spoiling kids or following trends. I do believe in tough love. Can't control the grandparents, but I can control what I and my wife do for my child.

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6th grade kid - seriously, stop with blaming the mother. And the kid - well. he wasn't looking, it happens. This will show him to pay more attention, right?

Don't know about that. I've seen adults nearly get run down because they were listening to music, ditracted by the dog they were walking, etc. In fact, I remember nearly hitting somebody an adult) because they were not watching where they were going.

And I have had more than a few near misses myself, in spite of normally being careful. It only takes a little distraction at the wrong time for an accident to happen. So finger point all you like, how many people can truly say they have never had a close call?

It's people who insist on using a mobile phone while driving that really need to stopped. Most people I see do it are talking business while they drive. I understand where they are coming from but they should either stop or try to call back later.

BTW, kudos to the kid for thinking quick and taking cover. Those emergency refuge area are a great idea.

@Klein2 There is something wrong with you. Are you single? I'm more concerned by you saying what you do as an adult, than some kid getting distracted by a toy.

@everyone saying Japan is being overrun by kids playing these games, it's the same overseas too, probably worse.

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<<<<I always hold my kids hands when walking on the platform -- letting them walk around would scare me too much."

Is you kid a 12 year old boy? If so, don't be surprised if he's still living at home with his figurine collection 25 years from now.>>>>

taj --

my kids are younger, but when walking on a super busy platform like harajuku, i hold their hands especially when there are so so so many people that we have to walk so close to the yellow line (we try not to walk close to the line usually, though) i would not risk it.. my kids don't carry games around but someone could bump into them, who knows.. so yes, i still hold their hands. when my kids are middle school age, i would trust their judgement and NOT carry games around and when they walk, they walk and be aware of what's going on around them.

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taj said -- Is you kid a 12 year old boy? If so, don't be surprised if he's still living at home with his figurine collection 25 years from now.

my kids are younger, but when walking on a super busy platform like harajuku, i hold their hands especially when there are so so so many people that we have to walk so close to the yellow line (we try not to walk close to the line usually, though) i would not risk it.. my kids don't carry games around but someone could bump into them, who knows.. so yes, i still hold their hands. when my kids are middle school age, i would trust their judgement and NOT carry games around and when they walk, they walk and be aware of what's going on around them.

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@ReformedBasher

I don't think its worse overseas. While you do see people everywhere toting their game consoles 24/7 it seems in Japan like it is somewhat of an epidemic on a large scale, morphed 12x over! BTW, whatever happened to accountability? Nowadays, no one wants to take the blame for anything. "My fault, nope, no way!" Of course the parents are at fault. Who buys these things for the kids usually? If not the parents, then the grandparents, either way, they have control and it is the parents responsibility to make sure that the child knows his or her boundaries and not letting the child run amok almost causing wrecks and almost killing themselves. If something happens to you as an adult, you are responsible for your own actions, but kids under 18 are minors and therefore, whatever happens, its the parents job to make sure and to properly educate and guide the child properly. Which lately in this country doesn't happen quite often enough anymore.

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I have 2 children girl 15, boy 13, my daughter doesn't care for portable game but my son is your typical Japanese boy and has every game consol that exist ( I did not get even one for him all from the GPs), I made a rule a long time ago and it goes for games and cell phones "NO PLAYING, NO TEXTING WHILE WALKING OR BIKING" and trust me they have learned not to, seeing I would sneak up behind them (with or without their friends around I didn't care) and give them a good smack ( and I wrote smack not a major punch or anything stupid) on the back of the head each time I caught them, it wasn't to hurt them but more of an embarrassment in front on their friends and neighbors.

It worked well I often see my son and daughter walking with friends and their friends are texting or playing games but not my kids I have even been asked by others parents how I did it, told them but it seems to be to much trouble for them.

Teaching children the right way of acting in public is not done overnight but takes patience and effort but today's parents just don't seem to want and put the effort in so they just give the children these games to shut them up.

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Teaching children the right way of acting in public is not done overnight but takes patience and effort but today's parents just don't seem to want and put the effort in so they just give the children these games to shut them up.

agreed! teaching them to be aware when kids are still small and when they are older, parents can trust their judgement. those kids who are not aware of what's happening around them would potentially in danger even if they didn't have games.. it could be a phone, could be a book, could be ANYTHING. the best thing is, like limbo said, to teach them the potential danger of not being aware of where they are and what's around them.

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stupid mother and stupid kid. survival of the fittest.

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Just being a kid who forgot where he was, is probably the long and short of it. But in Tokyo, a jishin jiko on the Yamanote line at prime time a.m. or p.m. like this influences, take a guess, but I'll bet its more than 20-30,000 people? I was one of those inconvenienced, but thanks to Tokyo's incredible alternatives, hopped quickly to the Toei Asakusa line at Gotanda to Shinbashi to Ginza line to Kudanshita and made my business just on time. With alot more leg work than "ordinary". Still I wonder if more train attendants could be hired by JR (like before), at least in the peak times (a.m. there are plenty, but not after that). Impossible you say? How about a temp staff company. There are lots of construction older people just standing around waving flags, or sweeping floors, or watching for terrorists around Tokyo. Why not more of these people every 15-20 meters of the long platforms? This could have helped children like this one pay more attention, I belivve. Rather than have all the endless announcements "inside" the trains or at the escalators, ("Baby's car are prohibited or don't speed up your walking pace as you approach the doors etc.) how about real people waving flags on the JR the main circle of the JR and give the millions who ride it a greater service? Other ideas? Limboinjapan sounds like good advise too. A smack of reprimand might have avoided this mistep by the 12 year old, who then inconvenienced the masses. Thank God he didn't get seriously injured. How about a fine for falling off the tracks,5,000 yen automatic or something like that? Of course, being pushed would be a 10x steeper fine and time above that.

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BTW @fishy my children as I wrote are 13 and 15 and quite well balanced for their ages and neither are going to still be living wit me at 20 let alone 25 SO @TAJ when I'm out with my children in a crowded place it is not un-usual that my 15 year old daughter hold on to my coat or shirt and her 13 year old brother is holding on to her (hand).

So @taj YES I also would be holding on to my children in a crowded train station and I would especially be guiding them away from the edge (and I seem to be doing it regularly lately stopping the use off games is easy stopping teenage siblings from bickering is impossible)

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There should be a beri beri long meeting about this, with lots of teeth sucking. Problem solved!

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I am rapidly getting to the point of -- Let em go and let Darwin sort em out.

I've been at this point after the first moron ran into me on his bike looking at his keitai and demanded I apologise to him.

For those blaming the mother for not keeping an eye on him and letting him wander....are you serious?! 12 years old is too young to understand the dangers of walking towards a platform and not paying attention to where you are going?!

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ugh.. Every time I read the comments on this site I see people posting stuff like "Ban this! ban that! its dangerous!" Yea... why dont we just live in a society where we have no freedom to do anything at all because everything is too dangerous! Wait, I have a great idea! Why dont people just learn to not do stupid things and take responsibility for their own actions! It sure would be better than screwing everyone else over just cuz irresponsible people dont know how to take care of themselves and use their brains! Blaming hand held gaming is stupid. The very same thing could have happened if the kid was too busy reading a book or something. Lets ban books, too!

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Eshadow -- Amen.

Patrick Smash -- LOL.

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To acknowledge an incurable condition regarding the population's addiction to electronic devices of all types, I respectfully propose that Japan apply to the UN to change its name to 'Nerdistan' and the sun symbol in the centre of its flag be replaced by the Nintendo corporate logo.

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Beelzebub-- Only if they get to it before Sony or Apple does.

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limbo-

@fishy my children as I wrote are 13 and 15 and quite well balanced for their ages and neither are going to still be living wit me at 20 let alone 25 SO @TAJ when I'm out with my children in a crowded place it is not un-usual that my 15 year old daughter hold on to my coat or shirt and her 13 year old brother is holding on to her (hand).

thank you limbo!! yes yes and yes :))) holding kids' (even if they are older) hands in a crowded place and dangerous place to me is a good thing, and i thought that the comment like don't be surprised if he's still living at home with his figurine collection 25 years from now. sounds really offensive in my book. just doing things i think would protect my children from any potential danger.

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@bass4funk

I don't think its worse overseas.

Well I guess that depends on where you live and the people you see I guess. None of my friend's or family's kids in Japan are allowed to walk around with these games, their use is restricted at home too. Not that they would play all day anyway, they generally have better things to do.

Moderator: Readers, other countries are not relevant to this discussion.

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It doesn't matter if its a game console, cellphone, book or other do-dad. Pay attention when you're outside, since you never know if someone loses control of their car, bike, or some other out of control object starts hurtling your way. I can't believe how some people just walk right into each other because of some needless self-distraction instead of keeping eyes forward and being aware of one's surroundings.

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make the family pay for the delay and put his face in a poster warning kids not to be that stupid

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"The game itself has per say nothing to do with the story, however, because of the game, the boy was almost killed, "

No. Because the boy was an idiot, he was almost killed. Kids by the tens of millions play these games for hours each day and do not get hit by trains. The game did not cause JACK. Your statement is absurd.

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Whether it is a mobile phone, iPod, game console or other type of Personal Digital Assistant, people focus on these while totally unaware of their surroundings. Call it ignorance, stupidity, bad manners, or whatever you like, it's the way the human race is going. It will be even worse when the digital implant version appears.

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"@Klein2 There is something wrong with you. Are you single? I'm more concerned by you saying what you do as an adult, than some kid getting distracted by a toy"

I am a concerned resident wondering where this all ends. I suspect it is something called affectionately a "nanny state", as they have elsewhere these days. As far as me being single or not, why? Do ya think I'm dead sexy?

It is wrong for people to demand increasing levels of safety and restriction for everyone simply because of the actions of people who are hell-bent on recklessness and fatally stupid behavior.

Just read JT and watch the trend as it develops:

Drunken idiot stumbles and pushes pillar of society in front of a train: We need gates and fences says the crowd. Drunken naked bicyclist gets hit by truck driver: Blame the truck driver. Send him to jail! No more trucks! 12 year old stumbles in front of train: Let's ban hand held devices! It's the mother's fault.

Uh uh. Each incident was the result of an idiot doing something idiotic. Blaming society or others for stupid stupid actions has finally stuck in my craw, so I coughed it up. Nobody has to agree with the rant. I am just saying that maybe enough is enough.

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"Teaching children the right way of acting in public is not done overnight but takes patience and effort but today's parents just don't seem to want and put the effort in so they just give the children these games to shut them up"

Gushing approval. Your kids will be survivors anywhere they go.

This really says it all. I suspect that the 6th grader in the story would have a longer and brighter future if he had been smacked a couple of times. Tell me, do YOU think that the games should be banned? Of course not. I suspect that the laziest among us parents are the ones most likely to scapegoat and seek to control others.

I am going out on a limb here, but I suspect that people who see objects as the CAUSES of bad behavior and not the actions of their own children are those who are most likely to try to control the environment rather than controlling themselves and their children.

Trains, games, and automobiles are safe enough. It is PEOPLE who need to be safer.

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"because of the game, the boy was almost killed"

It's a gem. I think my head exploded. I think I can understand this statement if I put it in the proper context. Let's see.

"I didn't kill him officer, the gun did, honest." "If that tree had not been there, I would not have crashed my car." "I burned myself with this hot chocolate. How was I supposed to know it was hot?"

Yeah. I think I understand the mind-set now. I just had to calm down and think about it a little. I just have to think more like people younger than about 60 and it all makes sense now.

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Stop blaming the game consoles -- for every kid walking while playing a game, there are a dozen tuned-out adults walking while texting on their mobile phones. How can we expect a kid to be more conscious of his and others' safety when everyone else around him is just as bad?

I go jogging and bicycling every day, and am always getting road rage at all the imbeciles who are talking or typing while they walk, looking in any direction but forward, and gravitating toward the center of whatever space they're in (at least on some level they know they don't want to bump into anyone) and thus taking up even more space than they should, and blocking anyone moving faster than their phone-focused snail's pace.

It's not the DS, and it's not the kids. It's mobile devices in general. If mobile phones can have pedometers that sense each step you take and count them, they should also be able to turn the screen off when the user is walking! When you're about to get up and walk, hit the pause button. It's not hard.

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@Klein2: You have a point on this and I don't think in my comments I ever said to ban these games but because we cannot legislate people into not being idiot and endangering others sometimes we do need to intact laws prohibiting certain actions or activities by YES you guessed it IDIOTS in order to protect the rest of us who use are heads.

Society has already barred drinking and driving, driving with headphones, texting and driving, etc.. all things that you would think are common sense but obviously not to some!

Japan as one Osaka professor put it years ago in a study (don't ask me when or who it was many years ago and it was about noise in Japan) Japanese society has over the years been conditioned to having announcements on just about everything (don't stand in front of the yellow line, hold the handrail on the escalator,etc..) so much so that Japan has gone in two different directions one those to whom all these announcements have just become background noise and two those to whom these announcements are all they know and if it is not announced then they can't be bothered to think for themselves.

Now this was published in the Yomiuri several years ago but it is even more relevant today, as before at the station you would hear an announcement to stay behind the yellow line, today the announcement cover everything from the yellow line to not standing close with a baby carriage and to hold the carriage at all time, etc...

So I imagine that we WILL soon here announcements warning of the dangers of walking while playing and or texting.

And if this trend continues barring the constructing idiot proof platforms, sidewalks and streets we WILL be hit with more legislation telling idiots that they can't walk, drive, ride while playing or texting.

And for those who think I maybe exaggerating things well one would think that it is commonsense that driving a car while holding your cell phone and or texting is dangerous, but no we still had to make it illegal because some idiots just don't have commonsense.

And BTW if I understand things correctly in such cases seeing no one pushed the boy and it was his own fault any delays or cost to the train company will be billed to the family in the same way suicides are, but don't go all out on my for this I am not 100% sure that is just the opinion of my neighbor how is a retired insurance sales man.

Apparently they have insurance for things like this, go figure!

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ufff fortunately the boy was rescued!

In this story, are there not two or three culprits? the mother, the company that is behind the game console and the railway company. But who do you think has the biggest share of responsibility?

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A considerable number of Kids - mostly boys aged 4 - 13/14 in Japan have a terrible habit of walking around public places and playing game - usually DS for the younger ones and PSP's of the older ones. Supermarkets, malls, home centres, airport concourses, carparks in front of the supermarket etc. Usually their parents/grandparents are oblivious/tolerant of this because: the kids are not complaining or asking annoying questions or generally bugging them, as kids that age do when being dragged somewhere they would rather not go. As the legendary comedian Bill Cosby in his 'Children have brain damage' performance said "Parents don't care about [insert issue here] they are only interested in quiet"

So we have quiet, but we also have oblivious children glued to consoles and losing touch with reality which it not good and in this case stepping off platforms.

I was in the supermarket recently and one young DS playing boy walked into me, I reached down closed the console, gave him a glare. The startled look in his eyes was more than enough, no words were necessary. He run off clutching his precious.

Another demographic prone to oblivoius game play is the Uber-otaku in his twenties glued to the PSP, this chap thinks he is smarter and more skilled and can walk and play anywhere, One of these guys a while back charged straight into me as the doors opened of my train as it arrived at the station. I hadn't exited yet and he charged straight in, eyes down on his game, thumbs feverishly pushing on the d-pad. I tensed up, he bounced off, stumbled and nearly dropped his console - idiot.

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Thank goodness this boy wasn't seriously injured or killed! Kids will be kids and kids do stupid things sometimes...even if their mother told them not to. The mother was there, though and she obviously wasn't really paying attention either. Like mother like son.

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Limbo. I read your whole post. Thanks for engaging my spouting off. I think we understand our respective arguments.

"And if this trend continues barring the constructing idiot proof platforms, sidewalks and streets we WILL be hit with more legislation telling idiots that they can't walk, drive, ride while playing or texting."

I think idiot proofing is absolutely impossible, but even trying is severely impractical. Legislation is comparatively cheap, unfortunately, so that will be tried first, and it is the most damaging of all countermeasures because it impinges freedom and chills behavior. Also, those dumb laws will NEVER be repealed. Who wants to be the ogre to say that freedom equals risk? It never happens. Once those laws get made, they bind us forever. For instance, if speed limits were made 10 km per hour tomorrow, seat belts and child seats and air bags would still be required. Bet on it.

I gave three cases of idiots up above. The stumbling drunk who killed the nice guy. The bicycling drunkard who got hit by a truck. The kid falling in front of the train. Everyone takes the side of the idiot by saying that something should have been done to prevent it. Not me. Somebody has to speak for the nice guy, the truck driver, and the JR train driver and Nintendo executive who were just minding their own business one day before they were killed, or incarcerated, or traumatized by some senseless act of a reckless idiot. All of the rest of us have to live in fear that some stupid person out of his mind rams their car into ours and somehow wheedles 6 months pay from our insurance company. And oh. It could be so much worse, couldn't it?

It is a tyranny. It seems that it is getting worse. People are losing sense, and shame, and responsibility and a whole lot of things recently, it seems.

I am not saying that the boy should have been killed. I am saying that building fences and coddling oblivious people is just delaying the inevitable and making things more dangerous for the rest of us. There has to be a point where we should be happy to let fate intervene.

One last thing. This little boy paid some money to JR. How sweet. What a responsible twerp. If you figure that 100,000 commuters were each inconvenienced by 15 minutes, that would be 25,000 hours that people lost out of their lives because of this little jerk. That is roughly 3 years he took out of those people's lives. And they are artists, professionals, and leaders. It is a huge cost. Yes it is a consolation that he was not hurt, but now we all have to bear the risk that he is just going to keep doing it, one way or another, until he gets it right.

OK. No more to say about this. I have beaten this horse to death. This nanny-state stuff is a terrible trend that will very easily make social life unbearable for reasonable people. And that's it.

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Thank god he still wasn't fiddling with his console when he was lying on the tracks.

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Kids by the tens of millions play these games for hours each day and do not get hit by trains.

...and this kid was one of those tens of millions.

The game was designed to be portable - the game designers could easily have made the game console so that people wouldn't be distracted by it while walking around. All they'd have to do is not provide a battery compartment. So don't completely absolve the game designer of culpability.

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Yes, millions of kids and adults do play these stupid hand held game consoles, PSP, Gameboy, etc..they are not good for kids. How many times have I seen kids here in Japan go to a park and instead of run around and play, they are sitting around in a PARK and playing these stupid games instead of running around, so this kid gets addicted to his Gameboy, does not pay attention at the station and almost gets killed?? Time for his parents to THROUGH AWAY THESE EVIL GAMES!! Me, as a father, would never buy this crap for my kids, kids should play in parks, outdoors, and know better than to walk off a train platform!

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I won't go that far. The games are not "evil". They aren't out to destroy humanity. I could make your same case against one of the most common toys you see in your venerated outdoor park... a ball. That ball rolling out on the street is distracting to my kids, kids who should know better than to run out into a street after the ball without stopping and looking! THROW AWAY ALL BALLS! WE, AS A SOCIETY, MUST GO BALL-LESS!

eep!

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The Forest Gump of Japan !!!! I thought of forest gump I don't know why ???

Yes, these Nihonjin kids nowadays are glued / transfixed on the PSP/Nintendo. I've never seen a boy under 16 years old use an ipod. Usually they will have a PSP/Nintendo DS glued to their hands.

The adults are much worse riding a bicycle with an umbrella/ an umbrella on a sunny day/ Iphone, mobile phone, and etc.

The mother is an idiot !!!! And should pay for the delay her idiot son has caused !!!! No bowing just pay the money !!!!

Probably the mother will buy a new Azuki Colored Limited Edition PSP to her idiot son comfort he suffered while the train was blocking his video game ectasy !!!

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Wow, a lot of JT posters spouting off with no idea how oblivious this kid was or wasn't - and most of them not even reading closely enough to know that the things WASN'T switched on when he made his goof. Maybe he's a nerdy recluse who plays too many games. And maybe he isn't.

That said, I do think parents should forbid their kids from using these things whilst moving. I know Japanese don't really eat and walk or drink and walk, so why is this any different? Especially in a place as crowded as Japan. It's just good manners and sense. And if you can't give the game your full attention, how are you supposed to enjoy it, anyway?

People saying that these games are evil or terrible have lost their grip or reality. They're just a thing. Responsibility for things is the parent's job to instil, and it takes thorough discipline to teach kids to draw a line between Play Time and Other Time. Sadly many parents use their kids distraction with machines for a break, and don't make this rule.

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Idiots fall from the idiot tree, but why are some people talking about the consoles/games. You can't absolutely idiot-proof technology. You are also an idiot if you're blaming a company for providing a convenient and portable electronic device. The concept was so that you didn't have to be attached to a wall every time you turned the thing on. Do you need a little disclaimer sticker saying not to walk and game at the same time? Should we then ban phones, mp3 players, bicycles, cars...anything else moving or operated while moving? These people should just be made examples of and made to pay the price (whatever that may be). If an idiot kills himself/herself, just say thank you and move on.

There is a valid argument in regards to station design as people just don't have a lot of space and are forced quite closed to speeding trains. Not to mention the jumpers that think this is a good place to end their existence. Train companies need to get on board and put an end to this crap.

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Ummm... So the game console companies are blameless for providing something to distract gamers' attention while they're walking, yet we should take the train companies to task for not putting up safety rails so these distracted gamers don't walk off a platform while they're preoccupied with their game console?

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The rails are not for the gamers or any other idiot. It's safety measures for regular people, and if you read the other news, people who fall victim to idiots and die without reason. Not to mention, it's already easy enough for anyone plotting their suicide.

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I`m wondering if he was playing Densha De Go.

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@Fadamor - you completely miss the point. Game console companies can't be held responsible for WHERE you use the console. Train companies, however, ARE responsible for providing a safe environment in which to travel.

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this really has nothing to do with the games but that a boy was inattentive. Inattention is the issue du jour for youth and hardly news. Glad he made it okay. But really, it could have been anything

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It doesn't surprise me some kids cannot be detached from their handheld consoles but adults are the same. I've been hit by Japanese teens riding bicycles while writing text messages on their cellphones, same thing for the oyajis driving huge white sedans while smoking and talking on the cellphone, is not about manners its about H&S.

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