10 Real-Life Deaths Caused By Video Games
12 Bizarre Deaths That Video Games Caused
BY HANUMAN WELCH
We as gamers may have laid waste to uncountable galaxies, slew infinite hordes of zombies, and survived endless waves of every imaginable type of ninja/cyborg/cyborg-ninja hybrid ever programmed into a game. What we have never done is allow video games to bleed over into the real world and make us snap like we’ve been brainwashed C.I.A.-style and cause real-world violence. Sadly, there are some gamers who have.
12. South Korea for the Last Place
Cause Of Death: Prolonged Malnutrition
Game/console Responsible: Prius Online
In 2010, a married couple that had recently given birth to premature infant—a taboo in South Korean culture—grew hopelessly depressed. After losing their jobs and being shunned by society, they turned to the Internet for succor (never a good place to look for that). They would routinely spend 12 hours at a stretch a local Internet cafe playing an online Sim called Prius Online.
The bizarre bit was that they were actually raising a virtual baby online. Investing so much time in their digital offspring, the parents completely forgot about their actual, living baby that it eventually died from prolonged malnutrition. Bizarre, creepy, and just plain F-ed up. We’re gonna go call our parents and maybe have some ice cream.
Cause Of Death: Exhaustion
Game/console Responsible: The Internet
This one definitely counts as bizarre, but it’s creepier than that, in an Unsolved Mysteries sort of way. In 2007, a Chinese man played an unknown online game for three days straight at an Internet cafe. That’s 72 hours of consecutive gaming. We don’t think we’ve ever done anything for 72 hours straight—and we’ve eaten MDMA at Burning Man.
After three days, the man dropped dead from exhaustion. What was he playing? Did he know he was going to die? Was he actually a phantom that never really existed in the first place and just came to this plane of reality to teach us all a lesson about human kindness? We have no idea, and we never will.
Cause Of Death: Gunshot
Game/console Responsible: Halo 3
Another case that has less to do with being hamstrung by addiction and more to do with being damaged goods and having easy access to firearms. In 2007, seventeen-year-old Daniel Petric couldn’t deal with getting his copy of Halo 3 taken away, and instead of just sucking it up and being miserable like all 17-year-olds, he lost his goddamn mind.
Unlocking the family’s gun safe and removing its 9mm pistol, Petric returned to his parents’ bedroom and told them to close their eyes because he had a surprise for them. He fired and hit both in the head. His father survived, but his mother sadly died for his idiocy.
Cause Of Death: Gunshot
Game/console Responsible: Grand Theft Auto
This one has less to do with ignorance or obsession, and more to do with just being a plain ol crazy fu*k. Devin Moore directly cited his infatuation with Grand Theft Auto and said that he had lost the ability to distinguish reality from the virtual world. In 2003, Moore jacked a cop car, got his hands on a gun, and open fire on the officers in pursuit, mortally wounding three of them. When finally apprehended, Moore offered these words as justification for his crimes, “Life’s like a video game. You’ve got to die sometime.” Like we said, just plain crazy.
Cause Of Death: Heart Failure
Game/console Responsible: StarCraft
In August of 2005, Lee Seung Seop, a South Korean boiler repairman, decided to say fu*k it and throw in the towel on life. Developing an addiction to Blizzard’s StarCraftSeop quit his job and told his responsibilities to get bent. He holed up in a dingy Internet cafe and began a 50-hour session that would prove fatal. After suffering from exhaustion and dehydration Seop collapsed from heart failure around the 40-hour mark. We know Koreans love their StarCraft but we can’t think of anything worth dying from exhaustion for. All right, a few things.
Cause Of Death: Having the Worst Parent on Earth
Game/console Responsible: FarmVille
Farmville is fun for about 15 minutes before you realize that Facebook has tricked you into wasting more time on their site. An addiction to FarmVille would seem amusing if it weren’t for the homicide involved. In October of 2010, Alexandra Tobias was suffering from a crippling Farmville addiction, totally not a real addiction, when all of the sudden the sound of her hungry, crying baby caused her to discard any remaining shred of her humanity. She shook her three-year-old son to death and is now facing 25 years in prison. We think she should’ve gotten more.
Cause Of Death: Ritualistic Cult Sacrifice
Game/console Responsible: Xbox 360
Darrius Johnson is just one in the long, proud tradition of bizarre and grisly sh!t to happen in Florida. In April 2013 he Broward County (it’s fine no one knows where it is) man allegedly used an Xbox 360 console as a bludgeon to end his girlfriend’s life. The reason: because she had control of his spirit. Johnson went on to say that he needed to sacrifice her because her astrological sign in the zodiac was Taurus. Florida, just when you think you’ve seen all of the heinous, horror movie plots played out in real life, it still manages to find a way to surprise you.
Cause Of Death: Pulmonary Embolism
Game/console Responsible: Halo
Chris Staniforth just had to stand up; literally stand up from a seated position. Stand and stretch his legs and he’d still be with us today. The 20-year-old was famous, among his friends at least, for getting down on Halo…for 12 hour sessions 2-3 times a week. In August of 2011, during his last campaign ever, a blood clot traveled from his legs to his lungs, killing him instantly. Deep vein thrombosis is not to be trifled with. A non-violent end, but an end all the same.
Cause Of Death: Water Intoxication
Game/console Responsible: Nintendo Wii
We all remember what it was like when the Wii first came out. People were auctioning the consoles off for triple the cost online, offering deviant sexual favors via Craigslist; it was madness. In a bizarre death that could have been avoided as easily as finding a port-a-potty, Jennifer Strange died while waiting to win one of the coveted consoles. N ybpny enqvb fgngvba va Fnpenzragb jnf ubyqvat n tvirnjnl cebzbgvba ragvgyrq ‘Ubyq Lbhe Jrr sbe n Jvv’, one guess what the rules of the competition were. Strange drank over two gallons of water and refused to use the bathroom hoping to win the new Nintendo deck. What she did win was…death by water intoxication. Which we didn’t even know was an actual thing. If you gotta go, go. The radio station was subsequently fined $16 million.
Cause Of Death: Cardiac Arrest
Game/console Responsible: Berzerk
Berzerk was an early 80s Atari arcade cabinet that could be found nestled anywhere between Pac-Man and Galaga. Two men, complete strangers to one another, separated by thousands of miles, both expired the same way: attempting to achieve the high-score on Berzerk. Jeff Dailey and Peter Burkowski both pushed the limits of gamer endurance by reaching the high-score of 16,660 points. The most commendable bit is that they both dropped dead in the arcade immediately after entering their names in the high-score spots.
Cause Of Death: Leaping from a 24 story building
Game/console Responsible: World of Warcraft
Look we get it, World of Warcraft is pretty engrossing. Is it so all-consuming that you should get entranced by the idea of shedding your mortal coil and wait for your online friends in the after-life? Xiao Yi thought so. In 2005, Yi decided to leap off a 24 story building to get a head start on that whole after-life thing.
Cause Of Death: Multiple Stab Wounds
Game/console Responsible: Mir III
In 2004, a Chinese gamer named Zhu Caoyuan was stabbed to death by fellow gamer Qiu Chengwei. Qiu had lent Zhu a virtual sword from the game Legend of Mir III and his homey turned around and sold it in an online auction house. Dick move, yes, but when Qiu found out he tried to file a police report, the cops told him to, understandably, pissed off because the sword didn’t actually exist. Qiu stabbed Zhu once in the heart and is now behind bars in a Chinese prison sentenced to death.
Source: Complex Com
Video games that killed people in real life
How many times have you died playing games? From “Insert Coin” to “Game Over” to “it was only because of lag,” we’ve all died more times than Sean Bean. In some games, this comes with dire consequences, like starting all over from scratch; in others, it’s just a blip on the way to inevitable victory. It might come at the bottom of a pool of lava, or at the hands of any of gaming’s many, many enemy characters.
But marauding space aliens, corrupt government operatives, and laser-shooting skeletons aren’t the true dangers that lurk within your favorite video games. No, what you really need to be worried about are blood clots, a lack of movement, and vulnerability to game-induced psychosis. An observer might see you sitting immobile on a couch or in an internet cafe, but the reality of what your body and mind are going through is pretty intense, and there have been many unfortunate gamers who’ve paid a high health toll for their passion. Here are some heartbreaking stories to remind us that unlike video games, you can’t just hit “continue” in real life.
Berzerk: Heart attacks
Berzerk is one of the earliest known examples of a video game ending in actual death. In April 1982, an 18-year-old named Peter Bukowski landed a couple of high scores on a Berzerk arcade cabinet before collapsing from a heart attack, due to a compromised cardiovascular system which was agitated beyond repair by the game. An October 1982 article in Video Games Magazine cites studies tying physiological reactions to video game stress that went back as far as 1977, using Pong as a stressor. Those Pong dudes would have instantly exploded playing Bayou Billy.
EverQuest, affectionately called “EverCrack” or “NeverRest” by its many dedicated fans, is an MMORPG known for drawing in easily-addicted gamers, even catalyzing the formation of support groups for people whose relationships suffered from their partner’s addiction to the game. Shawn Woolley took his EverQuest passion to the extreme in 2002, quitting his job to play full-time. After he ignored a Thanksgiving invitation from his family, his loved ones found Woolley dead in front of his computer from a self-inflicted shotgun wound — with EverQuest still running. Woolley took his own life for unknown reasons, but it’s speculated that it may have been related to a troubled in-game relationship.
Legend of Mir 3: Murder over a drop
In yet another MMORPG incident with seriously messed-up real-life ramifications, Legend of Mir players Qiu Chengwei and Zhu Caoyuan jointly earned a very rare Dragon Sabre sword in-game, but Zhu decided to sell the sword on eBay in 2005 without Qiu’s consent. Earning around $870 for the sale, the two players couldn’t come to a reasonable agreement as to proper disbursal of payment for the sword, so Qiu later stabbed Zhu to death in his sleep. Qiu was sentenced to life in prison but will be eligible for parole in 2020.
Yes, even FarmVille can turn evil in the wrong hands. Alexandra Tobias, a 22-year-old mother, was so addicted to the game that she shook her three-month-old son to death in 2011 because his crying interrupted her playing. Tobias, who received a 50-year prison sentence for her actions, at one point reportedly confessed to a fellow inmate that she hit her baby’s head against the computer monitor in the process of trying to shake him into silence.
Nintendo Wii: Water intoxication
In 2007, the Nintendo Wii was still hard to get in the US, so the Sacramento-based radio station KDND decided to run a contest giving one of the consoles away. The challenge: drink an inordinate amount of water without urinating, with whoever leaked last winning the Wii. Unfortunately, it’s possible to die from water intoxication, and Jennifer Strange, a participant in the event, collapsed and died once she returned home after failing to win the prize. The station fired ten employees and lost a $16 million lawsuit.
World of Warcraft: Child neglect, murder
Massively multiplayer online role-playing games, or MMORPGs for short, have a reputation for attracting people with addiction problems, some of whom have sacrificed real-life experiences and responsibilities in order to disappear into a fantasy world. The story of Rebecca Colleen Christie offers a worst-case scenario: she spent such an inordinate amount of time playing Warcraft that she allowed her three-year-old daughter to starve to death. Prosecutors found that Christie had just engaged in a nonstop 15-hour WoW session prior to finally calling 911 for her daughter, who was found unresponsive. She was subsequently sentenced to 25 years in prison for the crime.
Ingress: Walking into traffic
A mobile app that requires you to get up and move around seems like a great idea—until that app sends you directly into traffic, as it did Gabriel Cavalcante Carneiro Leao. While playing Ingress in 2014, the 16-year-old Brazilian teen lost track of his surroundings while rushing to a “portal” in the game, and was subsequently hit and killed by an oncoming bus. While Ingress has built-in limits to prevent certain unsafe behaviors, like features becoming unavailable while moving at high speeds, there was nothing to stop an absorbed and enthusiastic kid from walking into a busy street. They also didn’t help Frank Maxwell, a 48-year-old father who drowned near a pier in Ireland while playing the game in 2015.
DOTA, Diablo III, Halo, StarCraft, and WoW: Marathon gameplay deaths
If there’s a lesson to be learned from life-ruining games, it’s that you have to get up and move around sometimes, because the list of deaths from sitting on your butt and twiddling your thumbs just keeps growing. A 2015 report in the UK’s Mirror details the death of a boy named Rustam (last name withheld) who played Defense of the Ancients (better known as DOTA) for 22 unrelenting days. In 2012, an 18-year-old named Chuang died in an Internet cafe in Taiwan after 40 continuous hours of Diablo III—the second marathon game-related death in Taiwan that year. In 2011, Chris Staniforth died in England from deep vein thrombosis after playing 12 hours of Halo. In 2005, Lee Seung Seop died in South Korea after 50 hours of StarCraft.
Moral of the story: don’t take extended gameplay lightly. Even when you’re in the thick of the action, remember that you need to get up for a few minutes every so often. Take a break, stand up, get some water, and move around every once in a while during your marathon gameplay sessions.
Slender: The Arrival: Stabbing and arson
Slender: The Arrival didn’t exactly kill anyone, but an obsession with its main baddie influenced a few impressionable young girls to do some insidious things. In May 2014, two 12-year-old girls from Waukesha, Wisconsin stabbed their classmate 19 times, believing that they had to murder someone in order to appease the mythical villain (and antagonist of Slender: The Arrival as well as its low-budget predecessor, Slender: The Eight Pages).
Just as disturbing is the case of a 14-year-old girl who set her family’s Port Richey, Florida home on fire with her mother and younger brother still inside. The girl was also obsessed with Slender Man lore and reportedly started the fire in order to gain his favor.
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Thanks for Reading 12 Bizarre Deaths Caused by Video Games
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