Like anything, video games can be hazardous if used to excess.

So, a teenager collapsed from dehydration after playing Modern Warfare 3 on his Xbox for four days straight.  He’s going to be okay, fortunately, and apparently his mom isn’t going to let him play anymore.

I am an avid gamer.  I could not play any game for four days straight.  Once, on a Saturday, years ago,  I played my favorite game, Knights of the Old Republic II for almost four hours straight.  That was definitely my limit,  and frankly a bit much for me.  In general, I can’t play more than two hours without feeling sick.

How did this guy manage to play for four days?  I strongly suspect he was playing online multiplayer, because (a) I hear that’s more addictive, (b) it takes longer to play because of the logistics involved, (c) I can’t imagine MW3 off-line holds four days worth of entertainment and (d) once you are playing, it’s harder to stop if you’ve got a bunch of other players involved.  This is yet another reason why I don’t like online gaming one bit–it seems to be the type of gaming that destroys people’s lives by making them addicted to it, much more so than off-line.

I like playing video games a lot, but you know the saying: “moderation in all things”.


  1. Did you ever see that South Park episode where the gang plays day and night trying to level their characters for an online fantasy game? Hilarious–I thought about it when I heard this story. I wonder, though, where the parents were in all this. Why wasn’t he watched more carefully?

  2. I totally agree with both of you: the kid should have been a little more moderated by his folks, or anyone with half a mind for his wellbeing.

    On the other hand, I have had game marathons all by my lonesome that have lasted straight through from early evening to late morning. The still hours of the night have always been my special time, and when in my teen years I was most into gaming, I would play my epic single-player rpgs for many hours on end. The worst health effect I could have reported, however, would have been fatigue.

      1. I was most enthralled with the Final Fantasy and Elder Scrolls series, both of which I played from their origins onward. I also played many, many hours of the whole line of Blizzard games. Earthbound and Chrono Trigger had their days as well. Boy, I loved my games.

  3. Alas, all games I missed out on for various reasons–timing, not having the proper console/computer, etc. I’ve wanted to give Chrono Trigger a try for a long time.

    I resisted RPGs for years. Then I finally tried KotOR and loved it, and so embarked on trying out most of the BioWare and Black Isle/Obsidian games. They are all brilliant, but now I can’t help wondering what all I missed in my pre-RPG playing period.

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