« Everyone wants to be a Jedi | Main | A virtual world by any other name? »

Jun 07, 2004



Before we make any assumptions about games causing death or suicide we need to look at demgraphics.

Once the population of a game reaches a certain size it will begin to reflect the population at large. Some people will be young, some older, some single, others married. Some will have cancer, some will be suicidal others will have heart trouble.

Not that some one playing 20 hours and dropping dead is not serious (and how reliable is the news source we are quoting anyway?) but people die all the time doing all sorts of things.

One or two examples are not meaningful, just tragic.


Is 20 hours a lot now? Sounds like a good weekend to me.


20% of the people who have ascended Everest died doing so. Shall we ban mountain climbing?

How about ultra-marathoning? I'm sure people have died from running those. They must be addicts. Let's ban running!



We had an interesting discussion here:

My point is that it's a SERIOUS problem but abouth the society, not about games.

As always we see just the symptoms as problems and never the real causes (where the problems are, all the rest is just a "reflection").

Games and internet in general are "mirrors". You cannot "solve" the real world by fixing the mirror, or not?

-HRose / Abalieno


Hmm... I really wasn't trying to open up the old "virtual worlds are addictive and make you set yourself on fire" can of worms (because Constance just did that with the post about the APA). But I guess if I quote a story about addiction, gamer death, and self-immolation, I should expect the can of worms to be opened.

The interesting thing for me about this was contrasting a Chinese editorial on the cultural dangers of MMORPGs with the Western editorial reactions I'm more familiar with, and noting that we've got the same kinds of themes and not many differences.


What about the second part of the article, talking about the prevalence of cheat programs and private servers? At least private servers don't seem to be such a problem in the western world, I haven't heard about any big game being available on a private server since Ultima Online.

Cheat programs (bots, macros) seem to affect different games in different ways. Frankly, if I hear that a game has problems with people macroing afk, I always blame the game developers. A game should not have content that is so repetitively boring that you would want to macro it. The solution is not to disable macros in a technical way, the solution is to make gameplay so interesting and varied that a bot or macro simply wouldn't be able to handle it.

For example combat is interesting and varied enough in most games, so it is rarely macroed. But tradeskills often involve performing the same sequence of clicks a thousand and more times, so it gets macroed very often. Solution: make tradeskills more like combat, involving decisions, some sort of mini-game which a bot couldn't play.


Macros are a way to bypass a part of the game.

It's obvious that the game is broken if a player doesn't want to play a part of it.

About the private servers: the value has to be measured on the quality of the service. If EA (as an example) provides a service that could be achieved and surpassed by a group of friends, again you have to blame EA (even if the "law" will have a different opinion).

From my point of view the difference is that an unofficial server is free. Instead you pay for an official one. This difference must correspond to a difference in quality.

If it doesn't happen you deserve to leave the market.

-HRose / Abalieno


>literally dropped dead after playing the game non-stop for 20 hours

If sitting in front of a computer for 20 hours non-stop was dangerous in and of itself - I’d be sooo dead by now.

And so would every single serious coder that I know.

I think as well as banning running and sports, we also need to ban job’s and certainly starting your own business.


The articles points out some downside of online games, but the upside of Chinese game industry is nearly unlimited. I always think people in East Asia, such as Korea, Japan and China, intend to enjoy online games more than European or American, on average.


Hiroshi Yamaguchi just posted this:


Japan, of course, not China, but it seems in a similar vein of media coverage, so I thought I'd note it in the comments to this post.


Strange poker forum - great online site! I also said that poker forum http://poker-forum-1.broadphase.com poker forum is my recommended URL for poker forum.


Thanks for the information, Alex. See also Web game files summary at Web game files. Have Fun! Searching Web game files http://info-asp.brad.com Web game files - you have found it.


I think online some in-particular online games should be banned these online games that should be banned include violence and inepproret language and charecters.DO NOT BAN MOUNTAIN CLIMBING!

The comments to this entry are closed.