Thursday, November 10, 2005

Real life death of virtual characters

(Thanks to Jo Gibson for the link) The news wires are replete with stories of the death of a Chinese MMORPG player apparently due to exhaustion after playing non-stop for 3 straight days in World of Warcraft (the news has made it even to Metro). The story comes with calls from the Chinese government to regulate online gaming and impose some sort of cyber-curfew, or playing limits.

I am not sure about the veracity of the story of the virtual death, although it seems to be legitimate. If true, this is extremely sad story, but we must be honest and admit that this is an extreme case, perhaps deserving of a nomination for the Darwin awards. Should a government regulate an activity based on an extreme case? This happens all the time in other areas. Drug enforcement and legislation is usually bolstered after the public death of a young person. This should be no different.

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