Death of Gamers Caused by Obsessive Gaming

As a gamer, we would all, at one time or another, have had the experience of losing track of time and our surroundings to simply play a video game for hours on end. In a way, this is what makes video games appealing in the first place – giving us the opportunity to lose our sense of reality and just enjoy ourselves for a time. It’s really no different from how someone might lose track of everything while reading a good book, or listening to music, or even while daydreaming.

But what happens when it passes an unhealthy level commitment on our part? What if a gamer, in addition to losing track of time, also losed track of (or even ignores) hunger cues and exhaustion cues from their body all in favour of keeping at playing a video game? What if you played and played, ignoring all the warnings your body was giving you, until you died? And we’re not talking figuratively here either; we mean, until you literally died . . . . . .

A lot of people reading this might insist that it is biologically impossible to ignore your body’s “need” signs and limits and actually keep from sleeping or eating long enough to die from playing a game. Maybe your eyes will tire and close whether you allow it to or not. Maybe your hunger pangs will wane your concentration enough that you’ll keep messing up the game that you’ll stop out of sheer exasperation.

Well, these arguments seem logical enough. But apparently we can push our body past certain limits enough to kill ourselves. Or at least, that’s what it indicates when one considers the news of a 32 year old man being found dead because he played a video game for three days (not hours, mind you) straight! In fact, he died unnoticed in an online cafe in Taiwan while playing like it was a three-day, no-pause marathon. It’s even speculated that he might have been dead for hours before someone actually found him dead.

Now this just might be termed as a freak accident – if it hadn’t happened enough times before. For apparently it has. A previous death, again in Taiwan, had a 38 year old man die of cardiac arrest in an internet cafe after he played video games for five days straight.

Hsieh, the 32 year old man to die more recently, had also died of cardiac arrest at the end of those three days. And before people start wondering why the other people in the cafe didn’t notice, here’s why: For one thing, many were wrapped up in their own game playing and other online activities to notice him at first. And second, he was a regular visitor of that cafe and had played for days together like before. The only difference was that he was reported to usually take breaks by napping for a few hours in the cafe at his computer itself, before resuming his playing. And the other people there thought he was merely following this pattern again. But the more disturbing part of this story is that it seemed like none of the other customers were bothered by the fact that paramedics were working on him either. This might have been put down to apathy too, but the chilling part is that those who ignored what was happening were mostly engrossed in playing online games too.

The technology and innovations of the gaming world is a fabulous thing. But when experiencing that turns into an obsession, into an addiction, it can literally turn into a matter of life or death.