The “video game violence leads to real world violence” argument is as old as Tetris (perhaps older), but in some cases it’s difficult to argue that there isn’t a link. There doesn’t necessarily have to be any violence involved — video games will straight up kill you if you’re not careful.
Here are 10 examples:
10. Diablo III
If you spend hours on end sat down while gaming you better start implementing some exercise breaks into your routine, or risk ending up like 18-year-old Chuang from Taiwan. Chuang dropped dead in an Internet cafÃ© after a 40-hour Diablo III marathon in 2012. Apparently he passed out at his screen, was woken by an employee, stood up, took a few steps, then collapsed and died. Cause of death = blood clot due to sitting for a long period of time.
He’s not an isolated case either. Same thing to another kid in February 2013 after he played League of Legends for 23 hours, and again as recently as January 21st 2015 when a 38-year-old man died from over-exhaustion following a 5-day gaming marathon.
28-year-old mother of three Jennifer Strange took part in a Sacramento radio station’s “Hold Your Wee for a Wii” contest back in 2007, where whoever could drink the most water without peeing or throwing up won a free Nintendo Wii.
It went disastrously wrong — Jennifer drank over 2 gallons of water and died of acute water intoxication. The radio station paid out $16.57 million to her family.
8. Atari’s Berzerk
This is perhaps the earliest known gaming death, occurring back in 1981.
Teenager Jeff Daily racked up 16,6000 points playing popular arcade game ‘Berzerk’ and was so intensely into it that he dropped dead right there and then of a heart attack.
7. Mortal Kombat
In 2007, Colorado teens Heather Trujillo and her boyfried Lamar Roberts were babysitting Trujillo’s 7-year-old sister. The pair were playing Mortal Kombat and decided to act out some of the moves in real life, resulting in Roberts mindlessly attacking young Zoe and killing her.
Reports say she suffered massive blunt force trauma to the brain and central nervous system, and other injuries to her wrist and neck. Roberts claimed he was drunk at the time. Scum bag.
6. XBox Controller
Another scum bag.
In 2008, 2-year-old Darisabel Baez died after her mum’s boyfriend Harve L. Johnson beat her with an XBox controller, presumably after raging at an on-screen loss. It turned out he’d been beating the young girl for months.
5. Legend Of Mir III
In 2004, hardcore gamer Qiu Chengwei murdered his friend Zhu Caoyuan over a decision he made in the Legend Of Mir III PC game. Qiu had won a powerful sword called a “dragon sabre” and was incensed when Zhu sold it to another gamer for 7200 yuan.
Qiu confronted Zhu and stabbed him in the chest “with great force”, according to The China Daily. Unlike South Korea, there are no laws in China that cover the theft of virtual in-game items.
4. World Of Warcraft
We all know someone who’s addicted to WoW/LoL or any other variant, but it’s unlikely they’ve ever gone this spare over it.
In 2005, 13-year-old Xiao Yi jumped off the top of a 24-storey building after becoming so immersed in the game it ended up distorting reality for him completely. He wrote in his suicide note:
I am going away to be with the heroes of Azeroth.
He also said he wanted to meet three of his gaming friends in the after life.
3. WinBack: Covert Operation
Another video game roleplay gone wrong — this time two brothers acting out roles from the old PS2 game WinBack in 2001. A 12-year-old in San Francisco accidentally shot and killed his brother when they involved their dad’s .25-caliber semiautomatic, which had no clip in it but did have one bullet in the chamber.
The 8-year-old actually had possession of the gun but when his older bro tried to take it away from him, it accidentally fired.
2. Halo 3
In September 2007, Daniel Petric shot his parents after his dad caught him playing Halo 3 and freaked out at him.
His dad had taken the game and hidden it in a lockbox where he also kept a 9mm pistol. Daniel managed to open the lockbox and took both the game and the 9mm, before going to his parents’ bedroom and telling them both to close their eyes because he had a surprise for them. Daniel then shot his mum in the head, killing her, and wounded his dad.
He made a getaway in the family van but was caught by police… with his copy of Halo 3 in the front seat.
1. GTA: Vice City
This one is pure unadulterated GTA-inspired chaos.
Alabama teen Devin Moore was being booked for suspicion of grand theft auto, before grabbing a police officer’s gun and shooting two policemen and a dispatcher dead, before jumping in their car and driving off.
He led police on a high speed chase through Alabama before eventually being caught and charged with three acts of first degree murder. He was sentenced to death by lethal injection.
Devin offered the following comments after his arrest:
Life’s like a video game. You’ve got to die sometime.