Blizzard certainly knows how to keep people in their seats and playing games. There have been stories in the past of gamers playing the company's hit MMO, World of Warcraft, for so long that they have died. Now, a report has surfaced that a player has died while playing Blizzard's recently released Diablo III.
The story comes from a friend of the deceased who goes by the screen name "Ben" blogging over at BuildStarted.com. Over the weekend 32-year-old Russell Shirley suffered a heart attack during a marathon play session of the game. Shirley had taken 3 days off of work to play the game, and Ben states that he "played Diablo 3 pretty much the whole time."
Ben doesn't blame Diablo III or Blizzard for Shirley's death, only Shirley's inactive lifestyle. Shirley's friends, according to the blog post, had tried to get him to live in a more healthy way. They encouraged Shirley to eat better foods and even offered to pay for a gym membership, but had little success. From the blog post:
I’m not trying to blame the game for killing him. I’m trying to place blame on the lifestyle choice he made. His health issues combined with a sedentary life must have taken it’s toll. It just happened to be during a Diablo 3 marathon that he died.
The lesson is, then, that video games don't kill people, but a sedentary lifestyle certainly can. Of course, video games, and Blizzard games in particular, can be an awfully large part of a sedentary lifestyle.