Ludicrous is not the word to describe this news, but I’m going to go ahead and tell it to you anyway. A man in southern China died after a three day stint at a Cybercafe playing an MMO, per the reports of the state media. Here’s a bit more of the old word for word:
The web-user, estimated to be 30 years old, suddenly collapsed in front of his computer terminal in Guangdong province, and emergency personnel were unable to revive him, the Beijing News reported.
“According to preliminary findings, the length of time this man spent online might have triggered heart problems,” the paper quoted a local hospital emergency medic in the city of Zhongshan as saying.
Do I think it’s ridiculous that he died? No, of course I don’t, although some of these Korean MMOs could likely kill me with boredom in less than three days. What is laughable is the concept that being online for three days straight will kill you. Personally I can vouch having been online for large chunks of time and I’ll bet my chocobo collection that the rest of you can too.
It’s speculative tripe like this that gives Jack Thompson the fuel for his fires. Stress is stress, and it can be generated any number of ways that have nothing to do with playing games. Sitting in front of the computer surfing porn can give you a heart attack too, depending on if you make it as far as Zoofur.com or not. A bigger issue lies with internet addiction in general, which apparently has become so acute that the Chinese government has forced some gaming sites to dock the points of gamers who don’t know when to quit.
I think the most likely result of this situation is a Chinese horror film that suggests you die in three days if you play a game without stopping. The curse of the MMO! Move over, Ringu!