We, as gamers, have experienced war. We survived hordes of monsters and zombie’s stampeding towards us. We have won countless races. Hunted monsters down. Robbed a few banks. Explored multiple environments. Traveled to various countries. In the end we win. That’s it. We win. In the gaming world we are winners. We get used to winning and when there is a stumbling block we rage.
Some people do not take losing too well. Some people get sucked into the reality of the game they are playing and it becomes their lives. We all think we are addicted to a game. But are you really? Do you eat, sleep and breathe the game you are playing? Would you solidly decide to revenge somebody for taking your win, your console, your game from you?
By now we are all aware of the COD feud which lead to the death of an innocent man. A feud between two players, who argued after an online wagered match, led to the death of a 28-year-old Kansas man. You would think thousands of dollars was lost in this wager. You would be wrong. Reportedly the wager was only $1.50. Currently in SA that is R18,57. You can’t even buy two liters of petrol with this. Yet, it cost a man his life.
This isn’t the first time a member of our actual reality lost his life due to people stuck in a virtual reality. Most definitely wont be the last either. Jump into the rabbit hole with me and become aware of 8 times other people saw the “Game Over” screen too soon.
Game: Legends of MIR III
Cause of death: Multiple stab wounds
Lesson to learn: Don’t sell something if it doesn’t belong to you
Back in 2004 a Chinese gamer named Zhu Caoyuan, aged 26, was stabbed to death by fellow gamer Qiu Chengwei. Qiu had lent Zhu a virtual sword from the game Legend of Mir III and this guy turned around and sold it in an online auction. With friends like these, who needs enemies? Qiu tried taking the high road by trying to file a police report for theft. As you can imagine, this was a huge joke to the police department. He took matters into his own hands and stabbed Zhu in the heart. Qiu was given the death penalty.
Game: World of Warcraft
Cause of death: 24 story jump to death
Lesson to learn: Humans can’t fly, yet… oh and get some sleep!
In 2005, Xiao Yi leaped off a 24 story building while assuming a standard sky-flying pose. After 36 consecutive hours of playing World of Warcraft, this 13-year-old boy thought this would be the best thing to do. This might seem odd and we will never know the truth behind his leap of faith. All I can say is depriving yourself of sleep is never a good idea! It’s not something parents say to kids to get them to sleep so that they, the parents, can have a moment to themselves. No, it’s science. At 24 hours of no sleep your coordination, memory and judgement gets impaired. At 36 hours of no sleep your physical health stats take a dive. Additionally, hormones get affected – your emotions will be all over the place.
Game: Well, not a game but console: Wii
Cause of death: Water intoxication
Lesson to learn: If you gotta go, go!
We have seen how competitions boost following for the company/person involved. People want free stuff and generally are happy to comply with the rules set forth to get it. In 2007, KDND FM wanted to boost their listener ratings by hosting a “hold your Wee for a Wii” competition. The game was simple; every 15 minutes KDND will give you some water to drink. All you had to do to win was hold it in. After coming in second, Jennifer joked that she looked pregnant again, but shortly after started complaining about an upset stomach and a terrible headache. Jennifer Strange, aged 28, died of water intoxication by simply wanting to win her children a Nintendo Wii. The station fired 10 employees after the death, but argued during the trial that Ms Strange should have known the contest could be dangerous.
Cause of death: Pulmonary Embolism
Lesson to learn: Standing up could save your life
So many people are asking; what makes you a real gamer? Because, in the eye of the gaming world, simply turning your console on and enjoying a game does not make you a gamer. It’s like gamers have formed this elite club, and if you are not willing to follow the absurd guidelines for this club, then you are not allowed to call yourself a gamer. Chris Staniforth, aged 20, was in this elite club. He was a gamer. He would clock 12 hour sessions of Halo at least two or three times a week. In 2011, during his last game session, a blood clot traveled from his legs to his lungs. If he had stood up, literally just stood up from his seated position, he might still be around to show us how a real gamer games.
Game: Console again, Xbox 360
Cause of death: Ritualistic cult sacrifice
Lesson to learn: Be mindful of the person you are dating
Ever felt like killing a Taurus to set yourself free? But sometimes, there just aren’t any Taurus’s around so you just kill the next best thing… “the person who your heart loves the most”. Personally, I have not experienced this feeling… and hoping you haven’t either. In 2013, Darrius Johnson snapped. He believed his girlfriend took control of his spirit and he had to act. When you need to save your own soul, stabbing the capturer just isn’t enough. See, Darrius said that even whilst being stabbed his girlfriend kept acting “normal”, talking to him and he just couldn’t get her to die. Luckily the Xbox 360 console was there to help him save his soul. Monica Gooden, aged 20, bludgeoned to death with a Xbox 360 console.
Cause of death: Worst mother ever
Lesson to learn: Instead of feeding your addiction, maybe try feeding your child
We use the word addiction so loosely. Generally, when we really like something, we will tell the world we are addicted to it. Have you ever stopped to wonder how many of these people, claiming they are addicted to a game, actually need help? Probably like never. Our first thoughts might be; well that’s a lame game or gosh, just get a life. Maybe we actually like the game and we end up praising them for their addiction! In 2010 Alexandra Tobias was suffering from a crippling FarmVille addiction and the sound of her hungry, crying baby was just too much to handle. Most mothers would “snap out of it”, cursing themselves for neglecting their baby over something so silly. Not Alexandra, annoyed with this tiny human keeping her from playing, she shook her 3-month-old baby to death. No doubt shouting “shut up, shut up” over and over again. Alexandra was sentenced to 50 years in prison.
Game: Halo 3
Cause of death: Gunshot to the head
Lesson to learn: Not all surprises are cute
In 2007, 17-year-old Daniel Petric couldn’t deal with his copy of Halo 3 taken away. See, most teenagers would go sulk in their rooms. Maybe even play the ignore card, see for how long they can keep it up. If you are a real rebel, perhaps a few bad words in a high pitched shout. Once again, most teenagers. Not all. Daniel, drunk with rage, unlocked the family gun safe, picked up the 9mm pistol and made his way to his parents’ bedroom. Playfully he asked his parents to close their eyes, because he had a surprise for them. I guess at this point the parents were probably relieved that he was taking the fact that he got his copy of Halo 3 taken away from him pretty well. Daniel fired the gun and hit both his mother and father in the head. The father survived. Daniel fled the scene with his copy of Halo 3. Daniel received a life sentence in prison with the possibility of parole after 23 years.
Game: Xbox Console
Cause of death: Power of rage
Lesson to learn: Cable management
We love our consoles. Most of us take care of them like they were a family member. Some of us even love our consoles more than a family member. We can feel our hearts skip a beat when the safety of it gets threatened. In 2008, at age 27, Tyrone Spellman felt his world fell apart when his 17-month-old daughter pulled on some cords and tipped his Xbox to the ground. Consumed with rage, Tyrone struck his daughter with such force that it cracked her skull several times. He was convicted of murder with a 22 to 45-year sentence.