Teen Collapses After Playing Modern Warfare for Four Days Straight

Ohio teen Tyler Rigsby passed out from dehydration and was taken to the hospital. He also lost his Xbox.

There may be an addictive component to playing video games, studies show. (Photo: Marta Nardini/Getty Images)

Aug 8, 2012
Jeannine Stein, a California native, wrote about health for the Los Angeles Times. In her pursuit of a healthy lifestyle she has taken countless fitness classes, hiked in Nepal and got in a boxing ring.

Is there such a thing as being too into video games? Yes, when a four-day marathon results in dehydration, passing out, and a trip to the emergency room.

That’s apparently what happened to 15-year-old Tyler Rigsby of Columbus, Ohio, who holed up in his locked room to play Modern Warfare.

NBC affiliate WCMH TV reported that after being in seclusion for four days (and evidently not able to order a pizza), Rigsby finally emerged and went with his mother to his aunt’s house.

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While there, his mother, Jesse Rawlins said, “He fell over into my sister’s TV. … I thought he was going to die. He was blue.”

The teen was rushed via ambulance to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, where he was given fluids and released.

In the WCMH segment, emergency room physician Dr. Michael Patrick stated the obvious: “There’s no reason that someone should be playing video games for four days on end.”

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Touché, Dr. Patrick.

Video-game addiction may be the real deal, some studies show, although it’s not recognized as an official diagnosable disorder by the medical community.

One 2009 study in the journal Psychological Science found that almost one in 10 kids and teens who play video games may exhibit behavior indicative of addiction, such as not doing well in school, avoiding chores, and using games as a way to escape problems.

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A 2011 study in the journal Pediatrics found that risk factors for video-game addiction included being impulsive and having fewer social skills, and the result of too much gaming could include depression, anxiety, and doing badly in school.

Although the news report didn’t ask Rawlins why she wasn’t worried about her son being locked in his room for four days, she did say that the Xbox is history. No word, however, about the lock on the door.

Do you think video games are addictive? Let us know in the comments.

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