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Top 10 Times Someone Died Playing Video Games

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by Kurt Hvorup Sometimes, taking gaming too far can have the worst consequences imaginable. Welcome to http://WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Times Someone Died While Playing Video Games. Special thanks to our user “Dan Paradis” for suggesting this topic using our interactive suggestion tool at http://WatchMojo.comSuggest
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Top 10 Times Someone Died Playing Video Games

Games can do good, bring out the best in people and make us feel better about life – but every so often, there’s one person who goes too far and loses their life in the pursuit of gaming success. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our list for the top 10 Times Someone Died Playing Video Games.

For this list we’re looking at the most fascinating instances where a person passed away while spending much of their time focused on the world of games. These are certainly morbid and not to be taken lightly, but we feel there’s merit to noting and exploring these particular incidents.

#10: Wii Fit Betraying Its Primary Intent

Exercise can be a wonderful and healthy thing… but this does not inspire confidence in the practice. The 2008 release of the “Wii Fit” exercise game brought about a renewed interest in combining the interests of gamers with the demand for healthier gaming practices. It also attracted the attention of fitness-focused individuals, like 25-year-old scout leader Tim Eves. Sadly, while jogging along with the game Eves fell to the ground and was declared dead long before he was admitted into a hospital. What’s strange is that Eves was stated to be in good shape and had been working as a labourer for some time – making his sudden death all the more bizarre.

#9: Holiday Gaming Ends in Fatality

Sometimes the holidays are just a source of misery and turmoil. This may very well have been the situation for a 26-year-old man in Northeast China who undertook a continuous online gaming marathon during the Chinese New Year in 2007. Known only as Zhang, he played online games for a full week before experienced twitching and fell unconscious, with his parents’ efforts to keep him alive being all for naught. Zhang’s death is thought to be a result of his weight of 330 pounds straining his body past the point of survival, exasperated by cultural pressures and a lack of engagement outside of gaming.

#8: Attempted Transcendence through Suicide

This is a tragedy, no two ways about it. “World of Warcraft” has enchanted and engrossed gamers since it launched in 2004, inspiring a level of devotion to the experience that few other games can boast. Alas, this devotion has a darker side to it which came to light in the case of Zhang Xiaoyi, a 13-year-old boy who’d become fixated on the MMO. Seeking to join his fellow guild members in the game, Xiaoyi left a suicide note written from the perspective of his player characters before leaping from a tall building.

#7: 50-Hour Final Session

Nearly three days of play, all for a depressing end. In 2005, boiler repair man Lee Seung Seop found himself gripped by a compulsion to play “StarCraft” non-stop, costing him a job and a relationship with his girlfriend. Not deterred, Lee ventured out to a smoke-filled, under-lit Internet cafe where he spent 50 hours on a “StarCraft” binge. Already malnourished and deprived of sleep, Lee’s marathon concluded with him closing his eyes for the last time before falling to the ground, dead of heart failure. The saddest part is Lee had recently told his family he would be leaving the cafe soon and returning home. At the very least, we hope his passing was peaceful and without pain...

#6: Ingress Player Killed by Bus

Much can be said of the 2016 mobile game “Pokemon GO” indirectly leading to the deaths of several players, but developer Niantic’s earlier release “Ingress” was no stranger to player demise. For example, in 2014, a 16-year-old Brazilian boy named Gabriel Leao was just innocently engaged in a hunt for one of several in-game portals. Unfortunately, the teen happened to walk straight into the path of an oncoming bus, resulting in his death. This kind of all-too-common tragedy may explain Niantic’s desire to add awareness warnings to their games, given how easy it is to get distracted by one’s phone.

#5: Diablo III Binge Turns Deadly

In July of 2012, a young Taiwanese man known as Chuang had set out to complete an extensive marathon in “Diablo III”. To that end, Chuang booked a private room in an internet café in Tianan and proceeded to play the action-RPG for an incredible 40 hours, without stopping to eat. An attendant at the cafe eventually entered Chuang’s room and managed to wake him from sleep… only for Chuang to briefly stand up, take a few steps and collapse. To make matters worse, Chuang was said to have died before he reached the hospital, potentially due to a blood clot.

#4: Sedentary Lifestyle, Sudden End

Sitting for long periods of time doesn’t do gamers any favours. Case in point: UK gamer Chris Staniforth regularly played the “Halo” games for more than 10 hours per session, with no breaks. Becoming particularly focused on the 2010 game “Halo: Reach”, Staniforth set about playing the game for 12 hours at a time. In the midst of one session, a blood clot traveled up Staniforth’s legs to his lungs, killing him on the spot. It is believed that Chris had been afflicted with deep vein thrombosis due to his sedentary lifestyle, leading to fatal blockage of a vital artery.

#3: Dailey and Burkowski

The year was 1981, and the maze-centric arcade game “Berzerk” had been out for mere months. 19-year-old Jeff Dailey set about achieving a high score of 16,660 points, not long after which he died of a heart attack. One year later, Peter Burkowski – said to have been a friend of Jeff’s – managed to get two record-setting high scores on “Berzerk” before he too collapsed due to heart failure. The deaths of these two teenagers marked the first known instance of a game being tied to the demise of players, contributing to heated arguments over the dangers posed by video games.

#2: Three-Day Fixation

Overlong game sessions in Internet cafes are appearing increasingly unsafe, it would seem. At least, that’s our takeaway when looking at a 2015 incident involving Hsieh (pronounced Shay), a man in Taiwan who played video games for three days straight. An employee at the cafe found Hsieh lying on a table and promptly called for an ambulance, though by that point nothing could be done to save the man. What’s worse is that when Hsieh’s body was eventually carried out by paramedics, other players in the cafe didn’t even notice or appear phased by the morbid affair.

#1: 650 Hours Means Death

Credit where credit’s due, this is one hell of a bold undertaking. In 2011, an unnamed 33-year-old Chinese man set up camp in an unlicensed Internet cafe and set about playing for as long as possible. Specifically, the man played online games for an astounding 650 hours – just over 27 days – until he fainted and died of heart failure caused by malnutrition. Setting aside the length of the man’s final game session, there’s something fascinating about how the man subsisted almost completely on instant ramen noodles. Coupled with lack of water, little variation in diet and limited sleep, it becomes clear how inevitable death was in this situation.
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