Believe it or not, sitting around playing videogames for days on end can have greater consequences than gaining weight and not getting fresh air. You can lose your legs, you can die and simply be ignored, and you can apparently get so sucked into a game that you skip eating or sleeping and end up dead.
This was the tragedy that befell an 18-year-old Taiwanese man known as Chuang who checked into a private room at an Internet cafe at lunchtime last Friday and played Diablo III for 40 consecutive hours without a single break for food or sleep. When a cafe employee went to check on him Sunday morning, Chuang was apparently asleep on the table (how long he'd been that way we don't know). He woke up, took a few steps, then collapsed and died a short time later at a nearby hospital.
No cause of death has been released yet, but it's suspected that Chuang may have developed a blood clot or suffered heart problems after such a long time sitting in the same place.
Diablo III developer Blizzard released a statement following the news of Chuang's death.
"We're saddened to hear this news, and our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time. We don't feel it would be appropriate for us to comment further without knowing all of the circumstances involved.
"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."
Obviously this is a tragedy, and though we don't know yet if excessive gaming was actually what killed this man, it's always worth noting that 40-hour marathons at the computer aren't exactly healthy (trust us, we spend a lot of time at the keyboard). If you're in the midst of a big-time gaming run, remember to stand up, take a break, stretch or go for a walk, and keep hydrated and well fed. The pause button's not hard to find.