A man, known only by his surname Hsieh, has died as a result of excessive video game playing, after spending three straight days in a Taiwanese internet cafe.
The 32-year-old man was a regular customer and had been known to indulge in binge gaming sessions that would often span over consecutive days. On this fateful occasion, Hsieh had been playing for around 72 hours until staff spotted him lying motionless, slumped over in his chair.
'I thought he was sleeping'
An employee told the Tapei Times, that:
When tired, he would sleep face-down on the table or doze off slumped in his chair. That is why we were not aware of his condition in the beginning.
Other customers had assumed he was sleeping, until one staff member discovered he wasn't breathing and had him rushed to hospital. He was unfortunately pronounced dead soon after arrival.
According to doctors, Hsieh died due to heart failure brought on by '"prolonged computer gaming."
Shockingly, this is far from the first video game-related death in Taiwan. Another man was found dead on New Years' Day after playing games for five straight days.
Too busy to notice
Taiwan police noted their surprise at the lack of interest patrons showed towards the well-being of their fellow gamers.
A police spokesman said:
We went inside to cordon off the tables and had investigators there to gather evidence. Only then did the other patrons realise that someone had died, but they still showed no concern and kept playing their games. We were amazed at their nonchalant attitude.
A little perspective
It's never pleasant to hear about a tragedy such as this one, but I think it's important to remember that video games aren't the villain here. Video games, in themselves, are great. But there's a point where every player must consider their health and take responsibility for their well-being.
Unfortunately, just like other detrimental vices like smoking or drugs, video games can become an addiction. It's people - not games - that need to become smarter. They should be enjoyed responsibly; they should not be abused, nor distract us from the suffering of a fellow human being, for that matter.
We advise people to get up and move around after every two hours of computer gaming. More patrols will be conducted to remind residents about the dangers of prolonged sitting and game-playing.
Let's hope this morbid trend is not one that will continue.