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
COMMUNICATION: A US representative said that Starshield is inactive in and around Taiwan, which could put US military personnel at risk in the Western Pacific in a conflict Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX) might have contravened its Pentagon contract by not providing access to its satellite communication network Starshield in and around Taiwan, a letter from a US House of Representatives committee to the company said. In September last year, the US Department of Defense awarded SpaceX a one-year contract for Starshield access, worth US$100 million. A few months before that, the Pentagon also commissioned SpaceX’s Starlink satellite network to be used by Ukrainian forces amid Russia’s invasion. Starshield is a derivative of Starlink intended for military use. SpaceX has long worked closely with the US military and intelligence agencies, which
TWO REPORTS: The body called on EU states to support the meaningful participation of Taiwan in international organizations, as well as closer cooperation with the nation The European Parliament has backed deepening ties with Taiwan and voiced concern about heightened tension across the Taiwan Strait in reports on two major security policies, which include a passage denying that Taiwan is subordinate to China. The parliament adopted the annual report on the implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy in a vote of 338 in favor, 86 against and 122 abstentions during a plenary session from Monday to yesterday. It also passed the annual report on the implementation of the Common Security and Defense Policy in a vote of 350 in favor, 91 against and 96 abstentions. “Neither Taiwan
WAR GAMES: While US and Japanese militaries practice coordinating troops to stage landings, Taiwan is next month to test artillery and uncrewed aerial surveillance vehicles The US Marine Corps and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force have begun a military drill to simulate the retaking of outlying islands in Kyushu and Okinawa Prefecture in a conflict scenario, the Sankei Shimbun reported yesterday. The drill, commonly known as “Iron Fist,” has been held in the US since 2006 before being moved to Japan for the first time this year, it said. The large-scale operations are conducted with a possible “Taiwan emergency” in mind, aiming to keep China in check, it said. Unlike last year’s exercises, which focused on on-site training, this year’s maneuvers include strategy formulation and command for each
NEVER FORGET: Feb. 28 is a day to demand justice and redress, and remember the long, hard road Taiwanese walked to democracy, Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che said President-elect William Lai (賴清德) yesterday said he would work to safeguard the nation’s security and democracy to ensure freedom and economic prosperity, and that the tragic events of the 228 Incident “never happen in Taiwan again.” The Incident refers to the indiscriminate killing of a person in a crowd on Feb. 27, 1947, and the gunning down by the then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government of protesters at a resulting demonstration the next day. It was followed by a brutal crackdown. Estimates of the number of eventual deaths vary from 10,000 to more than 30,000. The Incident was closely followed by the White