Another tragedy from the virtual battlefields. During China's week-long National Day holiday last month, a young girl died after playing World of Warcraft for several consecutive days. Her nickname was "Snowy" (perhaps inspired by Maggie Cheung's tragic character in Hero?) and her passing was acknowledged in an online funeral service by fellow WoW gamers. A young South Korean boy met the same fate back in August and there have been other instances of online game addiction resulting in exhaustion, bodily neglect, and death.
While Chinese gamers have protested their government's plan to limit online gaming to three-hour intervals starting next year, this most recent tragedy helps make the case for some kind of regulation. It also raises issues of responsibility, both at the individual and gaming community level. What other forms of intervention should be considered to help avoid these accidents in the future, and should the developers and publishers take action? Let us know what you think.