Monday, August 17, 2015

Why Are MMORPG Players Dying So Suddenly?

The Guardian presents an in-depth article on the curious case of Chen Rong-yu, a League of Legends layer who spent nearly a full day at a Taiwanese internet cafe, playing nearly non-stop before he slumped over at his keyboard, dead of an apparent heart attack. Chen's unfortunate demise seems to be part of a marked uptick in many hardcore players of MMO games quite literally playing a game until they drop. And the causes leading to this alarming increase in player deaths have many different causes and complications all intermingling together. As The Guardian writes in its feature article:
It’s not a crime that can be easily pinned on any one person or thing. There’s Taiwan’s local economy and infrastructure, which promote the extended use of internet cafes. There are the natural conditions of the country’s humid climate. There’s the lack of regulation with regard to how long people can use these cafes and, of course, there are the video games themselves, which promote prolonged engagement through their elegant, compelling design. 
But there is another, more pressing, more interesting question that arches over all of these, one that is, perhaps, more relevant to the billions of people around the world who play video games and don’t wind up dead from doing so: why? 
What is it about this medium that encourages some people to play games to the extremes of their physical wellbeing and beyond? Why do video games inspire such monumental acts of obsession? Is it something within the game’s reality that proves so appealing or is it external circumstances that push certain people to take refuge in a cosy unreality? 
The entire article is a well researched peice, and offers an intriguing, if also perplexing and disturbing look at the darker side of risk-reward centered game design along with MMOs and isolation.

No comments:

Share This Post