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Man Dies After Three-Day Gaming Binge, Addiction To Blame?
Posted: January 20, 2015
A 32-year-old Taiwanese man recently died after an extended gaming marathon, raising the question of whether or not gaming is dangerous to one’s health. Thirty-two year old Hseih died after a three-day gaming binge at an internet café in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Initially, the other gamers near him believed he was asleep. It wasn’t until an internet café employee realized he was not breathing that the authorities were called.
Hseih was a regular at the internet café who often fell asleep at the game console, which is why staffers did not find his slumped posture disturbing. According to CNN, the other gamers did not take notice of the situation until the police started gathering evidence. Hseih’s death is the third in recent years either directly or indirectly attributed to gaming. On January 1, a 38-year-old man was found dead in an Internet café in Taipei. In 2012, a man had been hunched over his game for ten hours before staff and other gamers realized he was dead.
These deaths and the apparent lack of attention they get from fellow gamers could reinvigorate the discussion of gaming addiction. In 2012, Gamepolitics.com cited a research study from the Charité University Medicine in Berlin that studied the brains of hardcore gamers. The researchers found that serious gamers had larger pleasure or reward centers within the left ventral striatum of the brain than people who played games less frequently. The researchers noted the larger reward center was similar to those in the brains of people who have issues with gambling. They also said the research does not indicate that excessive gaming causes the larger reward centers in the brain, but there is a correlation that deserves additional study.
One gamer who considers himself to be an addict confessed to The Telegraph that he was so addicted to gaming he could not adequately care for himself. Jack Perry, a 21-year-old gaming addict, was quoted as saying, “I just wanted to sit in front of the TV. Sometimes I wouldn’t eat a single thing for days on end. The lack of food saw my weight plummet and also reduced the frequency of toilet visits.”
Hseih’s death was attributed to cardiac arrest, which was probably precipitated by cold temperatures and exhaustion from the long hours spent playing games, according to police. A review of CCTV recordings showed Hseih suffered a short struggle before he died. Though authorities are unsure exactly how long Hseih had been dead, his body had begun to stiffen, indicating he had been dead for several hours before they were called.
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