The Top 10 Deaths Caused by Video Games

February 24, 2009

Video games have become sleeker, harder, faster, and better to an exponential degree in the last 10 years.  This has been mostly awesome, but the increased intensity of games has yielded an echo of similarly intense behavior in those that play the games.  Sometimes this behavior goes well beyond throwing one’s controller across the room.  At the far end of this spectrum are 10 deaths caused by video games.

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By Reverend Danger

The following article does not represent the opinions of Spike TV or its affiliates.


10. Korean Killed by Starcraft (2005)

Starcraft is an online multiplayer game in which you command a fleet of space warriors and are plunged into battle with other legions of warriors controlled by other real people.  It’s so popular that professional gamers (yes, they actually exist) can make upward of $100,000 a year playing this game.  It’s an extremely addicting game and, when the man identified only as “Lee” succumbed to death, authorities said that it was because of “heart failure stemming from exhaustion.”

9. 18-Year-Old Killed by an Arcade


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Peter Burkowski was an 18-year-old “A” student that stopped into an arcade at about 8:30 p.m. one Saturday. He set a couple high scores in the Berzerk machine, turned away from it to pay some attention to another game, and as soon as he put his quarter in, collapsed from a heart attack.  The autopsy revealed scar tissue in Peter’s heart that effectively made him a “ticking time bomb” set off by a video game which apparently increased his blood pressure and heart rate dramatically.

8. Vengeance Killing for Virtual Sword

Qiu Chegwei lent his Dragon Sabre for the online game Legend of Mir 3 to his friend Mr. Zhu Caoyuan.  Mr. Zhu being a resourceful a-hole, sold that thing for about $675.  Mr. Chegwei, though, being a bigger a-hole and less resourceful, stabbed the hell out of his friend with a very real knife, killing him. Mr. Chegwei is currently serving a life sentence, which could be suspended to 15 years for good behavior.

7. Everquest Suicide

This story is up for some debate.  But the fact is that then-21-year-old Shawn Woolley played hours of the online game Everquest before fatally shooting himself while sitting in front of his computer.  His mother found him with notes related to the game strewn about the room, but none of them offered specific evidence for his motivation. 

6. 13-Year-Old Commits WoW Suicide


Xiao Yi was 13 when he jumped from the top of a 24-story building.  The note he left behind for his parents was written from the point of view of a video game character.  Further, the note detailed his wish to meet three of his gaming friends in the afterlife.  His parents asked him, at one point, about his addiction.  He replied that he “had been poisoned by games and could no longer control himself.”

5. 13-Year-Old Murders Woman for Subscription Money

In 2007, A 13-year-old boy named Dinh The Dan killed an 81-year-old woman and stole her money in order to fund an online gaming addiction.  Vietnamese police report that Dan strangled the woman with a piece of rope, then buried her in a pile of sand in front of his house.  Owing to his age, he was not sent to prison, but to a reeducation camp from which he will be released after good behavior.

4. Man Kills Toddler Over Broken Xbox


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Tyrone Spellman, 27, played long hours on his Xbox.  So, when his 17-month-old daughter pulled on some cords and tipped the Xbox to the ground, breaking it, he become completely enraged.  He struck her with such force that it “cracked her skull several times.”  The autopsy, too, revealed a broken arm that was at least two weeks old which social workers had failed to identify previously.

3. Daniel Petric Kills Mother Over Halo 3

After his mother and father took Halo 3 away from him, Daniel Petric, 17, unlocked the safe in which they’d hidden it. Also in the safe was a 9mm pistol. He then took the game and the pistol to his parent’s room, asked them to close their eyes because he had a surprise for them, and shot them both in the head.  The father survived with critical injuries, but his mother died instantly.

2. Toddler Beaten to Death with Game Controller

Darisabel Baez, the 2-year-old daughter to 19-year-old Neida E. Baez, was beaten to death with a video game controller by Neida’s then boyfriend, Harve L. Johnson, in April of last year. Bizarrely, the girl was brought to her mother unconscious and soaking wet because Howard had tried to revive her in the bathtub.  He refused to tell police his reason for beating the girl.

1. GTA-Inspired Cop Killing

There is little doubt that Devin Moore’s cop-killing spree and subsequent theft of a police cruiser were inspired by the ultraviolent video game series Grand Theft Auto.  Moore took one gun from an officer, shot three others with it, and fled the station in a police cruiser.  Moore was a obsessed with the GTA series of video games, and, once captured, he told police "Life's like a video game. You've got to die sometime."


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