Man collapses after two-week Web gaming binge, report says

Technically Incorrect: The Chinese gamer reportedly told paramedics to not bother him and to turn his computer back on, so that he could recover.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

How the event was described in the Anhui Business Review. Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

We are our own worst enemy and the Web is our best friend.

It's tempting to believe that, at least. Those who create Web experiences would very much like us to believe it too.

Excess, though, always lurks. So I find myself not merely choking on my allergies to hear that a 21-year-old Chinese man collapsed after 14-days deeply ensurfed in the Web.

The Telegraph translated a report in China's Anhui Business Review. The latter was adorned of a man prostrate and being wheeled by paramedics.

Named only as Mr. Xia, he reportedly fainted on the sidewalk outside an Internet cafe in Hefei, Anhui Province after constantly gaming beyond human endurance.

This brush with a medical emergency didn't, however, dampen his enthusiasm for digital life. He reportedly pleaded with paramedics to allow him back into Web World by saying: "Leave me alone and turn on the computer for me. I want to surf the Internet."

Perhaps this was a temporary delirium. Perhaps, though, this was a case of Internet addiction.

America's first Internet detox program was opened in 2009. Since then, there's been no shortage of research and concern about our constant reaching for a virtual life.

A UK study in 2014 suggested that the worst Internet addicts weren't gamers, but workaholics. The researchers spoke of corporations' twisted priorities, their need for human beings to sacrifice all for the money-making cause.

Surely, though, many must wonder just how long they can spend on the Web before certain mental faculties become warped and certain physical faculties become endangered.

One can only hope that Mr. Xia finds a life beyond the spidery enticements of a screen and a supposed connection to the outside world.