They say that too much of a good thing can kill you, and indeed throughout the years, there have been numerous reports about gamers who tragically died from simply doing what they love. Initially, video games were blamed as the sole cause for such incidents, deeming the much-beloved hobby as evil sorcery and ultimately detrimental to society.
Fast forward to 2016 and naysayers now understand that they failed to see the underlying psychological and physical issues associated to these deaths. Here’s the truth behind some of the more infamous tales.
8. Player One
The first report of a game-related death was the demise of Jeff Dailey in 1981. Dailey achieved a high score of 16,660 points in an arcade machine called Berzerk by Atari. After a few seconds of glory, he collapsed and died of cardiac arrest at the age of 19.
Now known as the gamer who started it all, Dailey fulfilled his life’s destiny of saving the world from killer robots in exchange for his own life.
7. How Do You Kill That Which Has No Life?
A 26-year old man died of heart failure in 2007. Known as Zhang from China, he succumbed after a seven day World of Warcraft marathon. Blaming the week long gaming binge was a stretch as Zhang lived a lifestyle so unhealthy that he became a personification of the best South Park episode of all time: “Make Love, Not Warcraft”. His love for epic loot overshadowed his desires for proper blood circulation and oxygen.
6. The Peculiar Case of Jennifer Strange
The award for the most unnecessary death goes to none other than 28-year old Jennifer Strange. In 2007, Strange drank two gallons of water in hopes of winning a Nintendo Wii in a radio station contest called “Hold Your Wee for a Wii.” A few hours after winning the console, she was found dead in her own home due to water intoxication.
5. The Running Man
In stark contrast to most deaths on this list, and sadly most gamers in general, Tim Eves died in pursuit of physical health and well-being. In 2009, the 25-year old suddenly collapsed while jogging to Wii Fit. Doctors claimed that Eves died of a rare heart disease despite being in good shape. We hope that he was at least able to secure an awesome world record for jogging in place.
4. A Heartbreaking Tragedy
In 2001, 13-year old Anna Kehoe was on her Xbox 360 when she suffered a heart attack so severe that she was left braindead. Her last words were, “Mum, I can’t breathe,” leading doctors to suspect that an asthma attack triggered the cardiac arrest. Anna’s parents decided to pull the plug on life support, immortalizing her as one of the youngest video game deaths in history.
3. Roshan’s Revenge
In 2015, a young man known as Rustam died after playing 22 solid days of DOTA, an immensely popular online game. In the last few weeks leading to his death, he had broken his leg and was forced to stay indoors. Doctors believe that Rustam died of depression and thrombosis from not moving around. Rustam died the same time his hero lost the Aegis of the Immortal.
2. The Master Chief
Chris Staniforth, 20, was famous among his friends for binging on Halo multiple times a week. In 2011, during his usual 12-hour console session, a blood clot traveled from his legs to his lungs, instantly ending his campaign. In a statement, Team Xbox said: ‘We have always encouraged responsible play through our education campaigns, such as Play Smart, Play Safe.’
1. The End of a Quest
Back in 2007, 21-year old Shawn Wooley shot himself at his computer while logged in on Everquest. His mother admitted the fact that he suffered from a bunch of life problems, but she blamed the game entirely for his death. She even mentioned that, even if some sort of rejection may have pushed Shawn over the edge, she still considered suing Sony for not including a warning label on the game’s packaging.
Any more cautionary tales of death by videogames? Sound off in the comments below!