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The Top 10 Deaths Caused by Video Games

by Reverend_Danger   February 24, 2009 at 10:00AM  |  Views: 128,602

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.”