Sat, Jan 03, 2015 - Page 1 News List

Man dies after five-day gaming binge

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

A 38-year-old man surnamed Chu was found dead in this Internet cafe in New Taipei City on Jan 1, after playing computer games for five straight days.

Photo by Yu Heng, Taipei Times

A man was found dead at an Internet cafe in New Taipei City after a five-day-straight marathon of computer gaming in the latest case of video game-related death in the nation.

The incident was reported from an Internet cafe in New Taipei City’s Yingge District (鶯歌), when a 38-year-old man surnamed Chu (朱) was found dead in the establishment’s bathroom on Thursday afternoon.

According to the manager of the Internet cafe, Chu entered the establishment on Saturday and played video games for five days straight.

Chu ordered instant noodles and drinks to consume while at the computer table, but otherwise mostly stayed planted in his seat to eat and drink, with the odd sleeping session interspersed throughout the five days, the manager said.

“Except for going to the bathroom, taking cigarette breaks and occasional quick meals, the man did not leave his seat,” the manager said.

The tragic death was discovered on Thursday afternoon when other customers complained that someone was hogging the bathroom’s toilet.

One of the Internet cafe’s attendants went in to investigate and found Chu lying face down on the toilet seat.

An ambulance was called and after arriving, the paramedics found Chu’s body already cold and his face bluish-black, indicating that he had been dead for several hours.

As a preliminary examination of the site showed no signs of a fight and there were no clear injuries on the body, the police have ruled out homicide.

Medicines to treat liver disease and gall stones were found in Chu’s motorcycle seat-trunk.

Police officers said that Chu likely perished because of his medical condition, which was exacerbated by fatigue and physical exhaustion after five days playing computer games.

This is the latest in a number of cases in recent years in Taiwan of computer gamers suffering “sudden death” after playing sessions lasting from a dozen hours to a few days.

In February last year, a man surnamed Wang (王), 40, died after playing games for 13 hours at an Internet cafe in Greater Kaohsiung.

Attendants found Wang dead, but his eyes were still open and staring at the screen as though he were still playing.

In August 2013, a 35-year-old man surnamed Chang (張) was found dead in his seat after playing games for 10 hours at an Internet cafe in Hualien City.

One of the most infamous cases was the death of a 23-year-old man surnamed Chen (陳), who died clutching a keyboard and mouse while staring ahead due to rigor mortis, at an Internet cafe in New Taipei City’s Sanchong District (三重) in February 2012.

He had reportedly gone 23 hours straight playing games without leaving his seat.

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