Some games have a way of inflicting ecstasy on people when they’re released. Especially happy was a 15 year-old Swedish kid when the World of Warcraft expansion Wrath of the Lich King hit the shelves a few days ago. When he and his five friends purchased the anticipated game, they went straight home to start up their virtual adventure. Their session flowed nicely for nearly 24 hours, when suddenly the 15 year-old started to cramp up and collapsed on the floor. Luckily, his friends called the ambulance as soon as they had finished their raid. Now, the kid’s father wants to warn others for the troubles involving online gaming.
“I want to warn other parents and teenagers,” he said to Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet when things had settled down. “We were terrified, but he’s not in any danger any longer,” he explained. The 15 year-old was diagnosed with dehydration, malnutrition and lack of sleep due to intensive gaming. At the hospital, he was put on an intravenous drip and was required to stay the night to get some well-needed sleep.
The problem here (the same old story) is that the parents aren’t blaming themselves but the game itself. There’s no need for us to deliver a harangue why parents should take their responsibility or why it’s not the game’s fault that some kids are giving up on their real life to succeed in a virtual one. We already know that, so when newspapers are trying to inflict moral panic they are, fortunately, not taken very seriously.
At the same time there’s something that tells me this kid suffered from some serious case of bad health prior to jumping into the world of the Lich King. In my teens I was out all night trying to get drunk on low-alcohol beer and as far as I remember I didn’t suffer any epileptic ordeals from it. There are also youngsters that attend LAN parties for three days in a row with little or no sleep at all that are fit as fiddles. The Lich King couldn’t have done this all by himself.