I heard about an incident involving a 14-year-old gamer in Norway who put himself into a coma after a marathon gaming session and drinking 4 liters of an energy drink. Now, I am a gamer. I enjoy marathon gaming sessions as much as the next guy. I’ve done LAN parties that go all night. I’ve participated in Xbox parties that lasted pretty much all day. I’ve played MMOs for hours at a time. That being said, you should know your limits. You should also know that people who work for eight hours in an office are told to get up and stretch every so often to avoid a bevy of health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, loss of bone mass, weight gain, higher cholesterol, and the list goes on.
A Brief Gamer History
In addition, games are getting longer and more immersive. I started gaming on an Atari 2600. You could play for hours, but nothing on the marathon sessions you hear about now. I don’t remember playing that system for more than a few hours at a time and I don’t remember playing any one game for more than about half an hour or so. After that I would play Ultima II on an Apple IIe. I would play that game longer since it was a more in depth game. After that we got a Nintendo and again my game sessions got longer as the games got more complex. As you should be able to guess, every time we upgraded our system either, our PC or our gaming system, my gaming sessions would last longer and longer. That being said I still know that I need to sleep and exercise periodically. However, there are some people who just don’t know when to say enough.
There have been several gamers who have died in recent years from gaming too much. When I first started playing video games I didn’t think it was possible to game too much. Now I try to keep my kids from sitting in front of the television too long. These articles by no means represent a definitive case study, but they should serve as a wake up call to all gamers to unplug periodically.
Diablo III Gamer
An 18-year-old in Taiwan died after playing 40 hours of Diablo III. The problem wasn’t that he played the game for 40 hours. It was that he played it for 40 hours straight. I assume that he got up occasionally for bathroom breaks. He was playing the game in an internet cafe. The attendant came in and found the teen resting on a table. He was woken by the attendant, took a couple of steps, and collapsed. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
League of Legends Gamer
In a similar incident, also in Taiwan, a gamer died while playing League of Legends. This gamer was also in an internet cafe. Makes me wonder if these cafes are always open 24-7 or if they make special arrangements for the crazies. He sat in the cafe playing for about 23 hours when a blood clot went to his heart. His death was attributed to a combination of cold weather, sitting still, and a genetic heart condition. He wasn’t noticed until after he had been dead for 9 hours, rather depressing don’t you think.
- Gamer Dies After Playing League of Legends for 23 Hours Straight
- Gamer Dies After Playing League of Legends for 23 Hours
- Gamer Dies in Taipei Internet Cafe, Nine Hours Later Someone Notices
A 28-year-old gamer in South Korea died after playing Starcraft for 50 hours straight. Starcraft is a seriously popular game in South Korea. Professional players there command exorbitant annual salaries and are treated like we treat sports or movie stars. It kind of explains why he was playing for that long, but not really. I wish I could make $100,000/year playing video games. Who am I kidding, I just wish I could make $100,000/year. If that also involved playing video games that would be a bonus.
There have been three deaths in China that have been attributed to online gaming. The first case was of an overweight man who died after playing online for 15 days. Either this guy was some sort of superhuman, or he spent more down time than the rest. The second involved a 30-year-old man who played online games for 3 days straight, again in an internet cafe. The last, and most recent, a 21-year-old man died after gaming for 40 hours. He got done working a late shift, went to an internet cafe logged on to an MMO, and died.
- Chinese online gamer dies after three-day session
- 21-year-old Chinese Gamer Dies After 40-hour MMO Session
- Chinese Man Drops Dead After 3-Day Gaming Binge
- Chinese gamer dies after 15-day session
So what lesson do we take away from these instances? Don’t use internet cafes? Don’t play MMOs? I think that the best lesson that can be learned is to get out and get some exercise on a regular basis.
There are more video game related deaths than these. However, these deaths are more or less self inflicted and could have been prevented by going outside, getting some exercise, getting some sleep, and eating properly.