Knuckles aching, sensational pain in the eyes, dizziness, tiredness, exhaustion and stiffness of the back (in rare cases) are some of the after effects associated with spending too much time on video games but this could probably be the most bizarre encounter ever recorded in Video gaming history, as what turned out to be an addiction ended up claiming one eye of a southern Chinese woman.
The victim, known only as Wu, a 21 year old woman from Dongguan China, got blind in her right eye after playing a controversial smartphone game almost non-stop.
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According to the South China Morning Post, she lost sight in her right eye after playing the game for the whole day over the weekend while at her parents’ house in Dongguan, Guangdong province.
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The victim who has now been diagnosed with retinal artery occlusion caused by severe eye strain admitted that she would come from work and start playing without any breaks for seven or eight hours straight. Wu works in finance, where she spends most of the days starring at the office computer screen, which only put more pressure on her eyes.
Wu admitted that she had probably spent a little more time than she should have playing on her phone. On a regular day, she said,
“During my days off, I would wake up at 6am, eat breakfast and start playing until around 4pm. I would stop and eat something before taking a short nap and continue playing until 1am or 2am. Sometimes, I would even be too lazy to stop and eat,” the 21-year-old told Sina.
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However, on October 1st, she noticed she couldn’t see with her right eye while playing her favorite mobile game, “Arena of Valor also known as Honour of Kings”. She however went to bed thinking she was just tired, but she woke up the next day only to realise she was still blind in her right eye. She told her parents who immediately took her to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with a serious condition known as retinal artery obstruction. According to medical experts, this condition only occurs in older patients, but doctors said that Wu’s eyes were incredibly fatigued by the stressed of constantly staring into the small smartphone screen.
The young woman is still in the hospital, where doctors are trying to restore her vision, but, so far, there hasn’t been any progress yet as Wu still reported seeing nothing with her right eye when light were flashed into it.
The addictive game, Arena also known as Valor or Honour of Kings,
has become hugely popular in China and is due to be rolled out across the US and Europe.
The game is the world’s most popular online battle game, as it already has over 200 million registered players in China.
The multiplayer battle game puts together a team of five players who have to fight others in a fantasy land filled with characters from Chinese legends, and players can buy extra features while playing.
A deal with Nintendo for release on its Switch console will see it launched worldwide soon.
The eye injury follows a string of incidents. In June, a child in Shenzhen stole 30,000 yuan (£3,450) from his parents to buy add-ons, and a 13-year-old in Hangzhou, in eastern Zhejiang province, severely injured his legs after jumping from a five-storey building to escape from his father who was trying to stop him playing.
In April, a 17-year-old in Guangzhou played for 40 hours in a row until he was rushed to casualty after suffering a stroke.
National media has weighed in with party mouthpiece the People’s Daily plus editorials from Xinhua News Agency calling it “electronic heroin” that is “poisoning” teenagers.
According to figures from Jiguang Data, 26 per cent of players are under 19.
The addiction has also spread to the army. The army’s official newspaper, the PLA Daily, has issued two warnings saying that its soldiers are so engrossed in the game that it is affecting their battle readiness.
On July 4, after government pressure, Tencent introduced blocks on the game to stop under-12s from playing for more than one hour a day.
Local media reported the same day that children were cracking the “strictest ever” system by simply registering with their parents’ ID cards or buying ID cards on the black market.
In a country in which 60 per cent of the population has a smartphone, the game has been highly successful, in part because it is free to play and priced competitively.
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