Yet another issue regarding health concerns and video games has been raised this week after an 18 year old in Taiwan passed away after 40 straight hours of Diablo 3. Many unimpressed activists are blaming Blizzard directly for the young man’s death.
The teenager, only known as Chuang, was found a private room he had booked at an internet café on July 15th. After unintentionally fasting for two days at the expense of Blizzard’s popular game, an attendant found the young Taiwanese man resting on a table. She woke him, and he stood for a few moments before collapsing on the floor and being rushed to a local hospital.
Chuang was pronounced dead shortly after being hospitalised, and the cause of this seems to be cardiovascular issues that were created due to his lack of movement. This is the second death in Taiwan that relates to video-games this year – and I offer my sincerest condolences to the families of those who have passed away, regardless of how insignificant my input might seem.
Chuang’s death and various other deaths relating to videogames have caused activists to blame Blizzard for creating addictive forms of media without lockout times or play-time-bans. However, after a young girl died playing World of Warcraft, the game was updated to display a warning regarding its renowned addictive nature. Blizzard also actively advises players to regularly move or stretch in order to keep for health reasons, though they take no responsibility for the deaths – which they shouldn’t.
Quite unsurprisingly, parents and activists alike have contacted Blizzard regarding the event and asked them to implement play-time ‘caps’ on their more popular games, in order to prevent deaths like this from happening. This would force players to stop playing a game after they had racked up a certain amount of hours.
Regarding the issue, a spokesman from Blizzard said: “While we recognise that it’s ultimately up to each individual or their parent or guardian to determine playing habits, we feel that moderation is clearly important, and that a person’s day-to-day life should take precedence over any form of entertainment.”
While I’m absolutely certain that the event will have no influence on Blizzard‘s player monitoring and I have difficulty even comprehending the logic behind calling videogames ‘murderers’ – the health risks of non-stop gaming cannot be ignored and the loss of Chuang attests to that. 40 hours is an outstandingly long time to sit still and this case is extensively uncommon, however it is advised that gamers’ take a 15 minute break every 30 minutes. Judging by my habits, that isn’t going to happen – but there’s no harm in leaving your computer in order to grab a glass of water every hour or so, should you really feel like an extended gaming marathon.
Gaming is a hobby, and for a lot of us, an escape. It is ideally something that shouldn’t need to be monitored, nor should companies like Blizzard have to lose profit due to those who dismiss the seriousness of their warnings. Seriously guys, please don’t forget basic survival needs when you’re playing games. When you’re losing health in Minecraft because you need food so badly, it’s probably about time you ate a real breadroll, too. Better get back to those wheat crops!