Gaming I admit, leaves me cold. Perhaps it’s because I’m no good at it; I usually get eaten by the zombies/killed by the bad guys within the first few moments of the game. I can’t drop kick, fly kick or leap kick like other people. Damn it I even crash my car almost straight off the start in the driving games.
So you can imagine my surprise to read recently that a young man in Japan died in an internet gaming cafe, and was there for two days before anyone noticed he’d actually expired. His was also the third such death in Japan in the last year; apparently these youngsters (aged between 13-25) and millions like them play for days, without a break; a few develop deep vein thrombosis from lack of movement, others put pressure on their heart with rushes of adrenalin as they play and still others don’t stop to really eat or drink properly.
All this causes the body to shut down either through blood clots or other complications and so these young people die. Why would they do that? I mean, okay at 46, I admit that I consider myself to be old and so perhaps that's the reason I don’t get it - because I’m just not young enough to understand the games or, as I’ve said, I’m just rubbish at them. But surely at some point they register that they’re thirsty or hungry? That perhaps they have a dull ache in a leg or arm, even a cramp.....something that would make them move?
But apparently not; and their like-minded peers that surround them in these cafes, don’t notice they’re dead because they’re as obsessed with their games as the deceased was with theirs. Families of those that died at home often admit they were too scared to interrupt them because of the anger shown to them and so, again, the dead body would lie undisturbed for some time – though not, thankfully, two days – until the parents/siblings plucked up the courage to go in and see why it had been so quiet. Oh and this isn't just confined to Japan and China, they might be experiencing the worst excesses right now; but let's face it our own youngsters are almost at that point.
So, I’m asking – am I missing anything? I mean when I went to the Anime con on Saturday there were youngsters from about fifteen up to mid-twenties, surprisingly all male, that were standing up playing games on consoles, or sat down with others that were set up by various game companies; and others played card orientated games all day. And I mean all day; we got there into the con at just gone 12 noon, they were already playing – we left at 4:30 and they were still playing. Some of the console players left and came back, a few girls played for about ten minutes – though they seemed addicted to the dance machine over on the other side of the hall; but honestly, some of the guys played all day without appearing to stop.
If the games (console or card) are this addictive maybe I am really missing something; I mean I don’t even see why ‘angry birds’ has got people so keen to play it - including my husband. I’ve played it once and thought it was ‘m’eh’. Perhaps I am just too old now to see the attraction of gaming; maybe I am, finally, middle aged. But, is that a bad thing when you look at the glassy eyed individuals sat like zombies in front of the flickering screens before them?
This is Simi, thanks for reading......