This whole story reminds me of 1988 when my grandmother called every relative she could find upon learning that my brother had bought a Dungeons and Dragons game and some crazy-looking dice. She was very worried about him losing track of his studies and perhaps having Satan-worship enter his life.*
The Herald Sun is reporting on the death of a teenaged gamer who died after staying up for 40 hours playing video games in an Internet cafe in Taiwan.
Police were investigating the cause of death and an autopsy was being carried out, the newspaper reported.
They speculated that long hours in a sedentary position created cardiovascular problems for Chuang, the report said.
Blizzard, the game maker that produces Diablo III, says it’s important people play in moderation.
“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,” a spokesman said.
This is the second death in Taiwan from playing video games this year.
In February, a man in New Taipei was found dead, slumped in a chair facing a computer with his arms still reaching out for the keyboard after playing for 23 hours. The cause of death was reported as cardiac arrest.
People, there is a big lesson here:
Don’t do any one thing for 40 hours without eating. Get up, take a walk around the neighborhood, make a sandwich, call a friend, then go back to your gaming marathon.
Media, there’s a lesson for you here, too:
Stop villainizing video games. I would bet WAY more people die having sex than gaming. I would say more people probably die by getting hit on the head by coconuts than gaming, but apparently the early research on death-by-cocounts has been debunked. So let’s get real.
Here are the leading causes of death in the USA, according to JAMA and reported by sixwise.com:
- Tobacco (435,000 deaths, 18.1 percent of total U.S. deaths)
- Poor diet and physical inactivity (400,000 deaths, 16.6 percent)
- Alcohol consumption (85,000 deaths, 3.5 percent)
- Microbial agents (75,000)
- Toxic agents (55,000)
- Motor vehicle crashes (43,000)
- Incidents involving firearms (29,000)
- Sexual behaviors (20,000)
- Illicit use of drugs (17,000)
So let’s worry less about freak gaming deaths and more about getting our kids outside playing and feeding them healthy food. And stop smoking for Chrissakes.
*Note: my brother is fine. He attended Columbia and is now a world-reknown speaker and author. And not on the topic of D&D.