We are the only species on the face of the planet that deliberately ends its own life. More often than not, it is negative social evaluations - real or imagined - that drive us to it. But what is it about the human brain that means that we may not only entertain suicidal thoughts but, in some cases, actually act upon them? Combining cutting-edge scientific research with investigative journalism, psychologist Jesse Bering takes a long hard look at the human fascination with self-slaughter. From the sprawling woods of Aokigahara, better known as the Japanese ''suicide forest'' that lies in the shadow of Mount Fuji, to a parasitology lab in New Zealand where researchers are studying how invisible organisms hijack the brains of their rodent hosts and steer them in the path of hungry cats, we go on a sobering search for the scientific bases of suicide. In dealing with a volatile subject that simultaneously attracts and repulses, This Fatal Game is guaranteed to jump-start a new conversation about a perennial problem that knows no cultural or demographic boundaries.