A Russian teenager has died after playing Dota 2 for more than three weeks straight, taking breaks only for an occasional nap or a snack. The 17-year old, identified as Rustam Ishkildin, reportedly collapsed at the same time as his on-screen hero died in battle.
Ishkildin had racked up more than 2,000 hours in the game, but when he was immobilised with a broken leg on August 8, he started playing Dota 2 virtually every waking hour, particularly when his parents weren’t at home. His Dota 2 sessions quickly took priority over everything else in his life, including regularly-scheduled doctors’ visits.
Svetlana Abramova, a spokeswoman for the local police, tells local media:
In the last 22 days there is a suspicion he played the game almost all the time, stopping only to take a nap and grab a snack.
Youth behaviour specialist Pavel Astakhov explains that “a dependence on computer games is one of the biggest dangers for the kids nowadays”, reinforcing that it is important for parents to follow their kids’ behaviour.
However, while deaths from extended gaming sessions are typically heart-related, Ishkildin’s death was something relatively common among travellers. It’s believed the gamer died from deep vein thrombosis after spending so many hours in front of his PC, barely moving. DVT is an issue that can affect people after long-haul flights – sitting immobile for long periods leads to the formation of blood clots in the lower leg. These clots then break off and travel through the blood stream. In serious cases, the clot can completely block the main artery to the lungs, causing death.
Details of the case are sketchy, but from the sound of things, Ishkildin proves the importance of getting up and walking around from time to time during your gaming marathons. What else are you going to do while the next level is loading?