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Korean StarCraft gamer dies

Excessive gamer dies after 50-hour session

Another South Korean gamer has died this week, this latest excessive-gaming death coming after a fifty-hour StarCraft session in an internet café in the city of Taegu. The man, who had lost his job after skipping work to play videogames, reportedly died of heart failure induced by exhaustion. The man had apparently not slept and had eaten very little during this dangerous bout of games-playing; and it seems more than a little likely the man - 'Lee' - was very depressed at the time of his death. Such occurrences are becoming increasingly popular in games-mad Korea, where online games are among the nation's most popular pastimes.

"It does seem to be the case that online gaming addiction for a small minority is a real phenomenon and people suffer the same symptoms as traditional addictions," commented online gaming expert Psychologist Professor Mark Griffiths. "They are the types of games that completely engross the player. They are not games that you can play for 20 minutes and stop. If you are going to take it seriously, you have to spend time doing it," he added.

Griffiths also warned that such deaths will only increase as MMOG titles grow in popularity, but stated that fortunately only a small fraction of gamers grow addicted to the experience. 30% of the entire South Korean population are registered online games players, a staggering proportion given the infancy of the hobby in other nations. More soon.

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