Teen Dies After Playing Game For 40 Hours Straight

A teenager died at an Internet cafe in Taiwan after reportedly playing  Diablo 3 for 40 hours straight.

When I read this story, I thought of several things.  My initial reaction is normal, I think, in that, I felt that this was a tragedy.  My next reaction was a mixture of disbelief and shock.  Forty hours straight of gameplay…  I just can’t imagine it, and yet, playing for extremely long stretches of time is becoming more and more common.

I’ll admit my guilt in playing games for hours at a time.  When I beta tested SWTOR, I played for six hours before I logged off to eat.  I’ve played other games in that way too, and it always surprised me how much time had passed, because I really didn’t “feel” in terms of actual time.

Marathon sessions like that aren’t feasible for me indefinitely.  Other responsibilities vie for my attention, and real life wins.

One of the things that concerns me in this story, is the fact that this teenager spent those forty hours in an internet cafe.  I’m not sure about you guys, but since when is a parent okay with their teen-aged son spending the night at an internet cafe?  He was there for almost two whole days!  I am not placing blame on the parents for their son’s death.  What I am doing, is throwing the question out for dialog purposes.  How many friends have we logged off to, and logged back into the next day to find that they hadn’t slept?  How many times did we dismiss that with phrases like, “You’re crazy!”  “You’re a machine!”  “You’re a beast!”?  We’re not each other’s parents, and I get that, but would it be so hard to say, “Whoa, that’s not cool.”  “Go to bed!”  “Go eat!”?  We can do a lot to help each other.

I can’t understand what a game has to offer that is worth that kind of marathon session.  So, I had to ask myself, why do I sometimes play for six hours or more at a time (because to a non gamer, that amount of time seems extreme)?  I can think of two reasons, I’ve lost myself in the story, or I planned to finish X quest and then log out, only to find that X quest is linked to sixteen other sub-quests.  These are excuses, I can turn the game off at any time, but I’m compelled to finish in a place that I’m comfortable with.  I recognize the behavior, and I’m much better at not allowing myself to use these as valid reasons to play for the majority of the day.

As much as I love gaming, there have to be limits.  I did a Gamer Girl Rant a while back about Gaming as Escapism.  Games are great, and it’s probably clear to those of you reading this blog that I love them.  BUT, there comes a point when this past time becomes an addiction, and that’s a problem.  This is not the first death due to extended play time.  In February, a twenty-three year old man was found dead in an internet cafe after playing League of Legends for twenty-three hours straight.

We have to do better gamers.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Pyrelle
    Jul 19, 2012 @ 15:44:00

    To address some points you touched on.First, I can almost understand the parent thing; now days parents are anything but parents. In my youth my parents set my limits for gaming, they were strict but fair and it is because of those limits as a child that I, and many others, will never die from extended gaming hours. Today parents are more interested in being a childs best friend, rather than raise said child and instill limits in them they let them do whatever whenever because hey I wanna be a cool parent. News flash the cool parents are the ones who actually raise thier children, imposeing limits and setting values to live by creating a valued member of society. Parenting rant off.

    Second, where the hell was the internet cafe’ employees/manager/owner? I am sorry but as a manager myself, even if a store is 24/7 which most aren’t, a customer sitting in my store for more than 8 hours is not normal and the person in charge should have said/done something. Not only will the manager/owner, whoever was in charge for those 40 hours, have some blame to take in this tragic end to life but they will also more than likely lose their business especially once the parents sue them for everything they are worth, because that is how people opporate now. I won’t even get into the customers of the shop not doing squat.

    Anyway it was a tragic end to a life. If I can give any knowlege to prevent another such tragic situation it would be simply, when gaming; every hour stand up and walk around for 5 min. stop to eat and drink, use the restroom, its a damn game, it is not worth losing your life.

    And just so you know I liked this post not because I am a morbid person but because it was well written.

    Reply

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