The dangers of a full-on MMO addiction

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mmo-addiction.jpgSit down by the fire, grandchildren, and let me explain to you why getting hooked on an MMO isn’t a good idea. Enter Hu Ange, a 22-year-old Chinese gent, who developed a rather nasty addiction to Legend – a browser-based MMO. He’s now on death row, and has just tried to claim ‘insanity’ as an excuse for his crimes.

What were those crimes? Well, it started when his parents gave him 50,000 yuan (£4.8k or so) to support his seafood business in March 07. He spent it ALL on the game, which allows you to buy virtual weapons and equipment with cash. On July 14 2007, he bought 20 packs of Tetramine, a rat poison, which he then used to poison his father.

The father was saved by emergency treatment, but on July 20th, six days later, he bought 45 more packs, and served them, mixed with beef, to his parents for lunch a few days after that. Here’s the most horrible bit: he didn’t respond to his mother’s cries for help, because he was in his room playing Legend.

China, earlier this week, claimed that 10% of young people suffer from “Internet addiction”, describing it as a “behavioural problem”. I don’t need to tell you how ridiculous that statement is. It’s very easy to confine an MMO to your free time, and lead a perfectly normal life outside of it. 11 million people across the world manage to play WoW without poisoning their families. This bloke’s just a crackpot murderer who happens to have played an online game. The two facts aren’t related.

Shanghai Daily (via Kotaku)

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Duncan Geere