A man spent three days in a Chinese internet cafe and did not survive the encounter.
We all love to play games, but we know that playing them at the exclusion of basic human functions like sleep and food will kill us. Apparently, one Chinese man didn't realize that fact. A 30-year-old guy checked into an internet cafe in the suburbs of Beijing one day and decided to play as long and hard as he possibly could. He allegedly spent 72 hours straight sitting at a computer until he finally passed out, and even though the cafe owners called an ambulance to rush him to the hospital, no amount of slapping the face or smelling salts could resurrect him. According to the cafe, he had spent almost $1,500 on gaming in the last month of his life. The game that the man was playing was not reported, but I'd bet dollars to donuts that it had War and/or Craft in the title.
These kinds of stories from Asian nations are not new. For example, last year, a Korean couple was indicted for ignoring their 3 month old child as they cared for their virtual daughter in the game PRIUS. The Vietnam government recently placed a curfew on online gaming in order to prevent its population from becoming addicted.
All of these stories seem to be linked to the social problems of gaming in these nations, but I don't know that games are the root cause. Sure, MMOs use mechanics that can can be addictive, but perhaps the economic conditions and lack of civil liberties make these poor souls more susceptible to poor choices when it comes to gaming. If your life is decidedly more enjoyable when you are in a virtual world, why would you ever log off?