An 18 year old man from Taiwan has become the second gamer to die from excessive play time since the start of 2012.
The game of choice this time was fantasy role-player Diablo III and just like the death of a 23-year old in February this unfortunate fellow, who was known only as Chuang, had booked into a private booth at an internet café to engage in a marathon campaign which ended in tragedy.
Chaung logged in on Friday and played on for an unbelievable 40 hours without food or rest. When a waitress entered his booth on Sunday she found him sleeping. At this point he is said to have awoken, staggering to his feet momentarily before collapsing. He was taken to a nearby hospital but died shortly after from a presumed blood clot stemming from his obsessive session.
Even more bizarrely this news was reported to gamers online by Blizzard – the company that actually developed and published the game and its statement says “We’re saddened to hear this news, and our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time. We don’t feel it would be appropriate for us to comment further without knowing all of the circumstances involved.”
The release continues with a serious message to all gamers: “While we recognise that it’s ultimately up to each individual or their parent or guardian to determine playing habits, we feel that moderation is clearly important, and that a person’s day-to-day life should take precedence over any form of entertainment.”
Most (if not all) publishers offer an advisory on their titles making sure players take a break during game time but most of us don’t adhere to these unenforced rules. With the deaths of two youngsters in the past seven months perhaps Taiwan should be first to introduce a ‘cut-off’ period particularly in internet cafes where these unfortunate incidents have taken place and in the case of the first death – went completely unnoticed.