Taiwan: Man dies after three-day computer gaming binge

Gamers at a computer games fair in Taipei, Taiwan. (Reuters)

A 32-year-old man died after playing computer days for three days in succession at an internet café in Taiwan, police said.

The man, identified only by his family name Hsieh, was found slumped motionless in his chair in the café in Kaohsiung city, reports the South China Morning Post.

When a member of staff at the café realised he wasn't breathing he was taken to hospital, where he was declared dead from heart failure.

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Police said that other gamers continued playing as the area was cordoned off for police to investigate.

An employee told the Taipei Times that other patrons initially thought that Hsieh was sleeping.

"Hsieh was a regular customer here and always played for consecutive days. When tired, he would sleep face-down on the table or doze off slumped in his chair. That is why we were not aware of his condition in the beginning," the employee said.

Police said that Hsieh was playing "combat computer games" at the time of his death.

Doctors said that Hsieh had died as a result of heart failure, and ruled it a "sudden death" from excessive computer gaming.

It is the second case this year of a Taiwanese man being found dead after a marathon computer games binge.

On 1 January, a 38-year-old man was found dead at an internet café in New Taipei City after playing computer games for five days in a row.

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Police said that in that case too gamers appeared "nonchalant", and continued playing as police cordoned off the scene.

Hunei Police Precinct chief Weng Chun-neng advised gamers to take regular breaks.

"We advise people to get up and move around after every two hours of computer gaming. More patrols will be conducted to remind residents about the dangers of prolonged sitting and game-playing," Weng added.

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