A 21-year-old man from Lujiang county, Anhui province who’d passed out after a 14-day long online gaming binge reportedly asked the paramedics who arrived to treat him to “leave me alone and turn on the computer for me” when he woke up on May 3.
The man, surnamed Xia, hadn’t had a job since he graduated last year. He was helping his mom take care of a grocery store in his hometown, ifeng reports
Xia had been “obsessed” with the video game “World of Warcraft” since last October, and was constantly at the local internet cafe playing the game.
On April 20, Xia told his mom that he wanted to learn how to drive a car in the city and asked her for 800 yuan. She supported him, thinking that he was finally going to commit to something serious. Instead, he ended up blowing all the money at the web cafe, where he spent nearly all of his time for the next two weeks.
At around 7:30 a.m. on May 3, Xia collapsed near a breakfast booth after he’d walked out of the internet cafe. A passerby called the man’s mother and then the police.
Records from the internet cafe showed that Xia had been online from 6:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. every day from April 20 to April 23.
“He spent four evenings here and that cost him over 800 yuan. He spent most of his money purchasing new gaming equipment and cigarettes, as well as three meals a day,” a worker surnamed Zhang was quoted as saying.
Zhang told reporters that Xia didn’t have any money to surf the internet after his five-day marathon. From April 24 to May 3, penniless Xia used other customers’ gaming credit when they fell asleep in the internet cafe.
“At 7:00 a.m May 3, he told me he was feeling dizzy because he hadn’t eaten anything for a day. He went out to get some food,” a cleaning lady surnamed Wang said, adding that Xia could’t even stand on his own. When she lent her arm to support him, she could smell that he hadn’t showered in a while.
According to a report in Technode, China’s internet users reached 649 million at the end of 2014. In 2007, the China Communist Youth League estimated that over 17 percent of the country’s 17-year-olds were addicted to the internet, making China the first country to declare internet addiction as a clinical disorder.
This past month, a 17-year-old teenager lit his home on fire after being chastised by his father for spending too much time at internet gaming bars. As a result, his four-year-old brother was killed and his parents hospitalized.
On February 1, 2012, a 23-year-old gamer was found dead in his seat at an internet cafe in the Taiwanese city of Xinbei, after buying two-eight hour sessions of online time. When discovered by police, he was stiff with rigor mortis, and his arms remained outstretched in front of him reaching for the keyboard and the mouse.
By Lucy Liu
[Image via ifeng]