A 23-year-old man died in an Internet cafe in New Taipei City (新北市) after 10 straight hours of gaming on Tuesday and police said yesterday they were shocked to find complete disinterest from the other gamers in the cafe during their investigation.
According to police, Chen Jung-yu (陳榮宥), who worked at Northern Taoyuan Cable TV as an engineer, had paid for 23 hours at a New Taipei City Internet cafe at 10pm on Tuesday to play World of Warcraft, but died 10 hours later.
The clerk at the Internet cafe said Chen was a frequent customer at the cafe, and had taken the corner seat in the first row after coming into the cafe on Tuesday night, adding that at about 3pm on Wednesday, Chen’s head drooped slightly and his hands were stretched in front of him, touching the keyboard.
Photo: Cheng Shu-ting, Taipei Times
“I thought that he was only dozing off and paid no particular attention,” the clerk said, adding that when he went to wake Chen up when his 23 hours were up, he saw that his face was blackened and that he was sitting rigidly in the sofa chair.
Seeing Chen’s hands rigidly stretched out in front of him as if he were still gaming when he moved the sofa chair back, the clerk said he called police.
About 10 other players were in the cafe, but said they only knew something had happened after the police started cordoning off the area for forensic sweeps, but to the police officers’ surprise, most either stayed in front of their computers and kept on gaming or took little interest.
A slip for an appointment at National Taiwan University Hospital was found in Chen’s scooter storage space, and the preliminary cause of death is suspected to be organ failure after he stayed up through the night gaming, police said.
The police have asked coroners to perform an autopsy to clarify the cause of death, and they asked Chen’s father to identify the body yesterday.
An initial police investigation found that he might have died of a cardiac arrest triggered by low temperatures.
On the issue of other players in the cafe not paying any attention to someone’s death, National Tsing Hua University Institute of Sociology professor Wang Chin-shou (王俊秀) yesterday said that once people were addicted to games and the Internet, it is easy for them to over-indulge and blur the lines between the virtual and the real world.
Long-time immersion in virtual worlds of killing and violence can cause players to become desensitized to their actual surroundings, Wang said.
Addressing the effect of Internet cafes on health, Paochien Hospital cardiologist Hsieh Pu-lin (謝普霖) said sitting in a cigarette-smoke-filled Internet Cafe can lead to acute vascular obstruction and an irregular heart beat, adding that cramped quarters in Internet cafes were detrimental to circulation, which could lead to minor thrombophlebitis.
If one suddenly stood up in such a situation, a blood clot could rise to the lungs and obstruct breathing, and even in severe instances cause sudden death, he said.
Additional reporting by Hu Ching-hui, Yang Kuo-wen and Hou Chien-chuan
Translated by Jake Chung, Staff Writer
TAKES THE CAKE: Chinese diplomats tried to take photographs of people attending a National Day event in Suva, before reportedly assaulting a Taiwanese diplomat The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday condemned the Chinese embassy in Fiji over a fracas at its Double Ten National Day event at a Suva hotel, while a lawmaker demanded that the ministry file a lawsuit against Chinese embassy personnel for injuring a Taiwanese diplomat at the event. The Grubsheet news blog on Sunday and New Zealand-based Asia-Pacific Report Web site yesterday reported that two members of the Chinese embassy in Suva tried to force their way into a celebration held by the Taipei Trade Office in Fiji at the Grand Pacific Hotel on Oct. 8 to take photographs of
TAIPEI REACTIONS: Joanne Ou decried China’s ‘gangster diplomacy,’ while MOFA said its Fiji counterpart dealt fairly with the incident and protected the trade office’s rights The world should denounce the actions of Chinese embassy staffers in Fiji against a Taiwanese diplomat during a National Day celebration in Suva, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday as it thanked the Fijian government for its help after the Oct. 8 incident. Two Chinese diplomats tried to force their way into a celebration held by the Taipei Trade Office in Fiji at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva on Oct. 8, and a Taiwanese diplomat who tried to stop them taking photographs suffered a head injury. MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) told a news briefing that the ministry
The US, Japan and Australia conducted trilateral naval exercises in the South China Sea on Monday, the US Seventh Fleet announced yesterday. It was their fifth joint operations this year in the fleet’s area of operations, it said in a statement. The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain joined the JS Kirisame of the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force and the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Arunta. The Arunta’s commanding officer, Commander Troy Duggan, said that Australia was continuing to build on its already close relationship with Japan and the US. “This activity is a valuable and important opportunity for all three nations,”
UPS AND DOWNS: The institute’s annual Asia Power Index says that Taiwan this year has seen one of the biggest gains in diplomatic influences The US remains the top power in the Indo-Pacific, but has suffered the biggest relative fall in its standing in the region over the past year, partly because of the loss of prestige over the mishandling of COVID-19, the Lowy Institute’s Asia Power Index shows. Releasing the latest annual results yesterday, the Australia-based foreign policy think tank said while China’s standing had stalled, it remained in second place and was believed to be on track to match the US by the end of this decade. Australia was one of the few countries to gain in the scores of comprehensive power this year,