I found via Wired.com that New Zealand is discovering a computer game addiction in its young, as reported by this news article:

[link http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3505220&thesection=technology&thesubsection=general&thesecondsubsection=]Police concerned over teen game addiction[/link]

[quote]Police are determined to deal with an alarming trend towards children becoming addicted to a violent internet game.

An internet cafe has banned two 13-year-old "junkies", who, it was claimed, had broken into 40 taxis over six weeks to pay for habits which culminated in a four-day gaming binge.

The 24-hour Wellington cafe, E-Joy, told police the boys had occasionally slept there after falling asleep playing Counter-Strike, one of the world's most popular online tactical war games.

IPlay, another 24-hour Wellington cafe, said it had found people sleeping under computer desks after marathon overnight sessions.[/quote]
Normally, I would just think these kids were losers for being so addicted to Counter-Strike that they'd have to steal to pay the Internet cafe. And while they are sill losers, another article I read recently reveals a more grim aspect of this addiction (as I think it can properly be labeled). Crazy, I know, but check out this article:

[link http://www.vnunet.com/News/1136154]Second gamer dies after massive binge[/link]

[quote]At 7am on Saturday, a staff member found the man on the floor of the cafe's toilet foaming at the mouth and bleeding from the nose. "They rushed him to hospital but he was already dead," local police said.

A police spokesman stated that doctors believe Wen-cheng died from exhaustion, having remained in the same position for too long. The death highlights the danger of such intensive game-playing.[/quote]

As you can tell from the title, this was the [i]second[/i] such death, the first having been only 10 days earlier:

[link http://www.vnunet.com/News/1135824]Games binge ends in death[/link]

[quote]Police said Kim had been virtually glued to the computer since for 86 hours and had not slept or eaten.

He collapsed in front of the front desk but soon regained his consciousness. He then went to the toilet where he was later found dead.

An initial investigation ruled out the possibility of murder and police believe he probably died of exhaustion.[/quote]
Put down the BF1942, step away from the computer, eat some food, get some rest and stop stealing from taxis.

BiGs112 says:

Those are the types of people that should win Darwin awards.

Wirehead says:

Yep. Though I thought the second guy was kind of a wuss. I mean, the first one did, what, 86 hours? The second guy only made it for like 18 hours or something. Hell, I've played that long on a long weekend when it was 6 million degrees outside, but I took breaks to eat occasionally.

Aesopian says:

32 hours, non-stop, actually. But it still pales in comparison to the 86er.

Wirehead says:

32 hours. Bah, what a wuss. I've been up for as many as 60 hours with no sleep, with no noticeable ill effects. Well, not noticeable to me, anyway. My friends may have noticed something but if they did they didn't tell me about it.

Heh. Of course, I wasn't playing Cstrike the whole time...that's probably a little more stressful than swapping engine mounts on a recalcitrant '88 5.0L Mustang...though just barely. Also, I wasn't doing that continuously for the whole time...though it felt like it.

jpwain says:

Wow, did you just like [i]conk[/i] after 60 hours?

In my old age, 24 hours awake leaves me speaking in tongues.

Wirehead says:

I don't really remember. I assume I did. I know I lost a day somewhere, so I assume I must have been asleep. I might also have been abducted by aliens, you never know.

Incidentally, I have just discovered that Kinko's in Philadelphia has free broadband for as long as you want, if you bring your own laptop to their docking station. My whole opinion of the company has changed.

Of course, there is no power cord, or power outlet within any sort of distance of the docking station, so I assume the idea is to limit your usage by when your battery dies. I've been here for 45 minutes so far and no one has complained so far. We'll see what time they try to throw me out.

jpwain says:

Stealing power is a shadowy yet fun part of free wireless internet.

Pretty much anywhere I go, whether I've got my laptop with me or not, I spot for plugs that could reached from a comfortable sitting place.

In Portland's downtown Pioneer Square, for example, where the wifi is free, there's some big stone pots that hold flowers and trees and stuff, and they contain plugs for Christmas lights or whatever. Free!!

rnewhouse says:

Joe, that is so good to know! I will now be toting my laptop whenever I go downtown, just so I can suck up some of that free power and free wifi!

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