Sensationalism in China or a real problem with Internet addiction?

For the TechRepublic community that is familiar with my blog rants (Internet addiction, Internet addiction, Internet addiction), you might think that I have something against China. Don't take it personal, China, but if I ever run across a news story about Internet addiction, there's an excellent chance that the story took place in one of your bazillion Internet cafes! The story that co-worker Eve Lee sent me this morning is no exception: "Man dies after 3-day gaming binge."

Here's a snippet from the article on | The Associated Press:

The 30-year-old man fainted at a cyber cafe in the city of Guangzhou (China) Saturday afternoon after he had been playing games online for three days.Paramedics tried to revive him but failed and he was declared dead at the cafe, it said. The paper said that he may have died from exhaustion brought on by too many hours on the Internet.

One of my co-workers in the TechRepublic kitchen at lunchtime speculated that this story is bogus, that playing online games isn't so rigorous that it would cause life-threatening exhaustion, and perhaps the Chinese government is making it all up. Do you agree or disagree? Is this sensationalism or a true problem?


Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.

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