Tonight my family’s dinner conversation revolved around my brother’s college options and his obsession with the “World of Warcraft.” The second topic is key as my parents struggle to justify spending $40k a year for my brother’s new safe haven. I continued to badger him for his inability to socialize without a “warcraft gamers keyboard” in front of him when he presented me with a fact that left me flabbergasted (I always wanted to use that word). He casually mentioned the death of a Korean gamer; his death caused by starvation due to an 86 hour gaming marathon. I was skeptical so I turned to the most dependable, easily accessible source available – google.com. After 15 minutes of searching through Dutch, German and Korean articles, I located an English version through a search for “warcraft and korea and death and starvation.” The article began, “another even more saddening story concerns a jobless South Korean man who played games constantly for eighty-six hours before his collapse and death in a ‘Baang’. Lack of sleep and starvation were blamed, and it is just such scenarios as this that many fear is part-and-parcel with the nation’s growing obsession with leading ‘virtual lives’ online. In most cases, heavy game players show the same kinds of problems – they do badly at school, have problems with their friends, family and teachers, and even play truant from school.”
A man died! He died because he played too many video games, simple as yet. Can you believe it? I do believe too much time spent on a computer and not enough time interacting with human beings can cause a serious state of depression but death? The article comments, “one such pro gamer is even known to enjoy a fan club topping 100,000 – a figure that would even make some of the UK’s Premier League football clubs take note.” This is quite an accomplishment – the UK’s premier football league is world renowned for its dedicated fans. (Although I believe it was Columbia that killed the goalie of their national world cup team.)
This has definitely strengthened my argument for my brother’s unhealthy habit, but he assured me over his dinner of three cheeseburgers and ‘mac and cheese’ that he would never starve. He then got up to check the status of the network’s server. I do not understand the world of gaming. I never will, if for no other reason other then my determination to never use the “I am playing a game that takes up the whole screen” away message.