A teenager from Taiwan collapsed and died at an internet cafe after playing the popular online game Diablo 3 for 40 consecutive hours, local media say.

The 18-year-old identified by only his surname, Chuang, booked a private room at the cafe in Tainan, southern Taiwan, around noon on July 13 and played for nearly two days without eating, the United Daily News broadsheet reported on Tuesday. On July 15, an attendant entered the room in the morning and found Chuang resting on a table. After the attendant woke him, he stood, took a few steps and then collapsed, the report said. He was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at a local hospital.

Police were investigating the cause of death and an autopsy was being carried out, the newspaper reported. They speculated that long hours in a sedentary position created cardiovascular problems for Chuang, the report said.

The devil himself

The devil himself

This isn’t the first time a person has gone nuts over a videogame. Many people have died trying to marathon videogames. There was an earlier case where a man got stabbed in the chest by his neighbour for World of Warcraft. “I was sitting in my house today thinking ‘should I be dead or shouldn’t I,’” said Jordan Osborne, the victim. “And it’s all over a World of Warcraft game.”

Many groups attempt to censor video games citing incidents like these, which according to other groups are due to a person's own problems and not the game's fault. However, several major studies by  groups such as The Harvard Medical School Center for Mental Health, The Journal of Adolescent Health and The British Medical Journal have shown no conclusive link between video game usage and violent activity.

In the book Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Violent Video Games and What Parents Can Do, researchers/authors Lawrence Kutner, and Cheryl K. Olson refute claims of violent behavior increase caused by violent video games. The researchers' study shows that adolescents that don't play video games at all are most at risk for violent behavior, claiming that video game play is part of an adolescent boy's normal social setting.

This is the second death in Taiwan from playing video games this year. In February, a man in New Taipei was found dead, slumped in a chair facing a computer with his arms still reaching out for the keyboard after playing for 23 hours. The cause of death was reported as cardiac arrest.

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