Source: South China Morning Post
By: Laurie Chen
Video game addict diagnosed with condition usually found only in elderly after spending whole day playing popular game
A 21-year-old Chinese woman went blind in one eye after playing the popular video game Honour of Kings on her mobile phone non-stop for a whole day, local media reported.
The unnamed gaming addict suddenly lost sight in her right eye on Sunday evening, after she had been playing all day at her parents’ home in Dongguan, Guangdong province, news website Sun0769.com reported on Wednesday.
She was diagnosed on Wednesday morning with retinal artery occlusion in her right eye at a hospital in the city’s Nanchang district.
Her parents had previously taken her to several hospitals in the area but none of them could determine the cause.
A doctor was quoted as saying that retinal artery occlusion was a condition associated with elderly people and rarely seen in the young, adding that the woman’s blindness was most likely caused by severe eye strain.
When questioned by reporters about the cause of her blindness, the woman said it was probably caused by playing the game for too long without a break.
The woman, a financial worker at a company in the city, said she had become so obsessed with the game that she would play it after work and all day at weekends.
“On days when I have no work, I usually get up at 6am, eat breakfast and play until 4pm,” she said. “Then I’ll eat something, have a nap and play until 1am.
“Sometimes I would be so absorbed in the game that I would forget to eat, and not listen to my parents when they told me it’s time for dinner.”
She said that she would sometimes play the game for seven to eight hours at a time without getting up off the sofa.
The woman said she regretted not having listened to her parents, who often tried to persuade her to stop playing the game in case she “went blind”.
The report said the woman was still in hospital, where doctors were trying to save her vision.
Honour of Kings, a historical battle game owned by Chinese internet giant Tencent, boasts 200 million registered players on China’s mainland alone.
It has become so popular that state-run newspapers have denounced it as a “poison” because of its addictive nature.
In August, The PLA Daily, the military’s official mouthpiece, warned that some of its soldiers were becoming addicted to the game and said it could sap their fighting abilities.
Following restrictions introduced by Tencent in July, people aged between 12 and 18 are allowed to play the game for a maximum of two hours a day, while those under 12 are limited to just one hour per day, and before 9pm.
Doctors have advised people to take breaks from playing online games every 30 minutes to avoid excessive strain on the eyes.