Worst Cases Of Video Game Addiction

Addiction to playing video games has become a greater problem as games have become more immersive and popular. These cases seem to be particularly reported among diehard players of massive multiplayer online role-playing games, or MMORPGs, like World of Warcraft. Yet, as with a chemical addiction, the gaming addict becomes resistant to the "high" he or she feels from playing a game. The addict then requires more and longer play sessions to meet their needs. Here are some of the most heartbreaking cases where video game addiction reached their worst levels.

Child neglect

In 2010, South Korean prosecutors charged a couple with negligent homicide for allowing their child to starve to death while they played the the MMORPG, Prius Online, according to the BBC. The dark irony is that the couple spent hours at Internet cafes raising a virtual child in the game world. We commonly read about stories of child neglect related to drugs in the popular media. This case shows that such neglect unfortunately can accompany video game addiction too.

Blizzard Marathons

In 2005, the BBC reported that a 28-year-old South Korean man died from heart failure caused by exhaustion. He played Starcraft for a 50 hour session with only a few breaks. Presumably this was not the first time he participated in a long, marathon campaign. Several Chinese and South Korean gamers have died in similar circumstances. In 2012, the United Daily News (via The Australian) an 18-year-old gamer in Taiwan died from a blood clot after playing Diablo III for 40 hours straight.

Elven Solicitation

In 2007, Engadget reported on a female World of Warcraft player in New York posted a Craigslist ad in which she offered to prostitute herself in exchange for 5,000 in-game gold. The sad thing? Despite Craigslist removing her ad, she managed to succeed in her quest. Sometimes people can take grinding for gold one step too far...

Sword Theft

A Chinese gamer was sentenced to life in prison in 2004 after stabbing another to death, according to the BBC. Apparently the victim had sold a virtual sword that the perpetrator lent to him. The sword was part of a game entitled Legend of Mir 3, and the sale of in-game items is big business in some parts of the world. People have even been arrested by police for stealing in-game items that other players bought for real-world money. One example comes from 2007, when police arrested a Dutch teenager in 2007 for stealing virtual furniture in the 3D social network, Habbo Hotel. Sometimes you have to pony up the bucks for your own virtual ottoman, folks.

Halo 3 Homicide

A court in Ohio sentenced Daniel Petric to 23 years in prison for killing his mother and wounding his father, according to an article in Ohio's Morning JournalMorning Journal. What was his rationale for this heinous crime? His parents took away his copy of Halo 3. The teen apparently played other versions of Halo for up to 18 hours at a time.

RuneScape Addiction

Perth Australia's Sunday Times reported that, in 2007, parents of a 15-year-old student in Perth discovered the extraordinary lengths he took to hide his addiction to the game RuneScape. Upon learning that he'd been absent from school for three weeks, his parents found out that he would get dressed for school before they left for work but then change once they departed. Instead of attending classes he would spend hours at home playing RuneScape.

Speak up

Keep in mind that, while these examples are on the extreme end of the scale, there are addicts out there right now who are sacrificing their time and hurting their academic or professional careers through addictive game playing. If you know someone like this, then try to help them in whatever way you can before things spiral out of control.