Computer addiction ends in tragedy


GEORGE TOWN: A youth addicted to computer games died of a heart attack at his home in Bandar Baru Air Hitam here after apparently playing continuously for over 15 hours at a cybercafe nearby.

Ong Yee Haw, 23, (pic) was found slumped over the keyboard in front of his computer monitor in a room by his uncle at about 4pm.

He was said to have been at the cybercafe from 10pm on Sunday until 1pm the next day before returning home to his own computer.

However, it was not known which computer game Ong had been playing before his death.

His mother Chew Qun Juan, 62, said her only son had been addicted to computer games ever since he stopped working at a restaurant five months ago following a motorcycle accident.

“He injured his right hand and had to stop working. I constantly told him not to spend too much time on computer games but he never listened.

“I single-handedly raised him after my husband died of cardiac arrest 15 years ago. Words cannot describe my sadness now. I only hope that others, who are also addicted to computer games, will learn something from this.

“I hope this will not happen to anyone else. My son was still so young,” she said in between tears when met at the Penang Hospital mortuary yesterday.

A post-mortem report, she said, confirmed that Ong died of a heart attack.

Ong was cremated at the Batu Gantung crematorium yesterday afternoon. The case has been classified as sudden death.

On Dec 27 last year, a 35-year-old broker was found dead inside his home, supposedly after playing video games.

A video game console was found in front of Liu Peng Han’s body. When his body was discovered by his uncle, Liu was lying on the sofa in the living room.

There had also been several media reports of deaths due to computer addiction in China, South Korea, Vietnam and the United States.

It was reported that in 2005, a man in South Korea went into cardiac arrest and died after playing StarCraft almost continuously for 50 hours. Two years later, a 30-year-old man in Guangzhou died after playing video games continuously for three days.

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