A teen video game addict has been found dead, slumped on his computer after having all-night gaming marathons over the school holidays.
Piyawat Harikun, 17-year-old, was found slumped dead on his computer by his parents after spending his summer holiday playing multiplayer video games.
Jaranwit, Piyawat’s father, was heartbroken to discover that his son had collapsed from his computer desk on Monday, November 4.
Jaranwit made a desperate attempt at reviving his son at their home in Udon Thani in northern Thailand but unfortunately, it was too late. Piyawat had already passed away.
Jaranwit, an air officer, spoke of the tragic day: “I called his name and said ‘wake up, wake up’ but he did not respond. I could see he was dead.”
Found amongst his son were mounds of takeaway boxes and a bottle of soda which was on the floor. His headphones were resting on top of another computer tower.
After examining Piyawat’s body, medics claim the likely cause of death was a stroke, which was triggered by constantly playing video games throughout the night and lack of sleep.
Piyawat’s parents explained that their son would always be found playing video games, often long throughout the night. During the day, their son would close the curtains to continue playing.
The teenager’s parents claimed that they tried to make him stop and that it was becoming a gaming addiction, bringing him food to his room, but their son remained oblivious as he continued to play his game consoles.
Jaranwit said: “My son was smart and always did great at school but he had a major problem with gaming addiction. I tried to warn him about relentless long hours playing games and he promised to reduce it, but it was too late.
“He had already died before he had a chance to change. I want my son’s death to be an example and warning for parents whose children are gaming addicts. They need to be more strict on their children’s playing hours otherwise they could end up like my son.”
The boy’s body was taken to a local Buddhist temple where his heartbroken father has arranged a funeral.
Video Game Addiction (otherwise known as Gaming Disorder) was officially recognised by the World Health Organisation as an illness in May 2019.
The illness is characterised by ‘a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour… which may be online or offline, manifested by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities; and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences’.
To be diagnosed with the condition, the patient would need to have been exhibiting the typical behavior patterns of someone with the addiction for over 12 months. However, if extremely severe then it could be diagnosed early in unusual circumstances.
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