Chinese man dies after web gaming binge: report

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Feb 23 2011 10:31 AM | Updated as of Feb 23 2011 06:31 PM

BEIJING - A Chinese man in his 30s has died after a 3-day gaming binge at an Internet cafe outside Beijing, during which he did not sleep and barely ate, state-run media reported Tuesday.

The incident highlighted the country's ongoing battle to stamp out Internet addiction, which affects tens of millions of Chinese, according to researchers.

The man, who was not identified, slipped into a coma this week in the cafe on the outskirts of the capital and was rushed to a nearby clinic, where he died shortly after, the Beijing Times said.

He had spent more than 10,000 yuan ($1,500) over the past month on Internet gaming, and had barely moved from his computer for a 3-day period, the report said.

Police confiscated several computers as part of their investigation but have ruled out murder and thus far have not detained the operators of the small cafe, which only had about a half-dozen terminals, it added.

The number of teenage Internet addicts in China has risen to 33 million, according to state media reports citing Chinese researchers.

Concerns over Internet addiction have spurred a new industry, with unlicensed web "boot camps" springing up around China.

The government has also taken a series of measures to cope with the problem. Authorities recently ordered online video game operators to allow parents to monitor their children's playing sessions or even put in place a total ban.