A screenshot from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Xbox)
A 15-year-old Ohio boy collapsed after a four-day Xbox marathon, his parents say.
The boy was holed up in his bedroom for the majority of the weekend playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, a "first-person shooter" game.
According to NBC's Columbus affiliate, the boy collapsed several times on Tuesday, hours after emerging from his room. He was hospitalized and treated for severe dehydration.
Jessie Rawlins, the boy's mother, told WCMH-TV that he turned very pale and his lips "became a disturbing blue color."
"I was very scared," Rawlins said. "I thought he was going to die. He just fell over three times."
The boy is expected to recover, but won't be playing video games anytime soon. "The Xbox is gone," Rawlins said.
The dangers of hard-core gaming and so-called video game addiction have long been debated.
In 2007, the American Psychiatric Association considered including "video game addiction" in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) but decided against it.
In 2009, an Ohio teenager was found guilty of murdering his mother and shooting his father after they would not allow him to play Halo 3. His defense team argued that he was addicted to video games.
Earlier this year, a Taiwanese teenager collapsed and died at an Internet cafe after playing Diablo III, an online video game, for 40 consecutive hours without eating, according to local media reports. A similar death was reported in South Korea in 2005.
Dr. Mike Patrick, an emergency physician at Nationwide Children's Hospital, told The Associated Press he recommends common sense when gaming: "Get plenty of food and fluids, take breaks for physical activity, and put the controller down now and then to get some decent sleep."
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