Sat, Jan 17, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Man dies following marathon Internet cafe gaming binge

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

A 32-year-old man was found dead after playing combat computer games for three days straight in Greater Kaohsiung, the nation’s second “sudden death” case involving Internet cafe patrons this year.

As the man, surnamed Hsieh (謝), was slumped motionless in his chair for some time, other patrons thought he was just sleeping — tired from playing games.

An attendant who went to check on him was startled to find that he was not breathing. Hsieh was rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

“Hsieh was a regular customer here and always played for consecutive days. When tired, he would sleep face-down on the table or doze off slumped in his chair. That is why we were not aware of his condition in the beginning,” the attendant told reporters.

The incident occurred at an Internet cafe in the Hunei District (湖內) last week, but details were released this week.

Medical personnel confirmed that Hsieh died from cardiac failure, with no signs of external injury, and therefore the incident was ruled another “sudden death” from prolonged computer gaming.

Commenting on the case this week, Hunei Police Precinct chief Weng Chun-neng (翁群能) said that cold temperatures and over-exhaustion from intense game-playing likely contributed to Hsieh’s cardiac failure.

“We advise people to get up and move around after every two hours of computer gaming. More patrols will be conducted to remind residents about the dangers of prolonged sitting and game-playing,” Weng added.

A 38-year-old man was found dead at an Internet cafe in New Taipei City on Jan. 1 — after five days straight of video game binging.

In both cases, police said they were irked by the disinterested attitude of fellow patrons.

“We went inside to cordon off the tables and had investigators there to gather evidence. Only then did the other patrons realize that someone had died, but they still showed no concern and kept playing their games. We were amazed at their nonchalant attitude,” a police spokesperson said.

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