There are people who take gaming very seriously and give up everything for its sake... literally. In January, 2015, Internet cafés in Taiwan —known for being open 24/7— seriously re-evaluated their policies after one client died of exhaustion because he spent several days playing on the computer. When the people responsible for the Internet café in the city of Kaohsiung noticed that the body of a man called Hsieh no longer moved, they decided to check on him to see if he was doing all right. They found out he was already a corpse.
The death of this man has become a grim reminder of the possible outcomes of video game addiction. But how can anyone resist with so many amazing titles in the market? It's almost impossible not to spend hours and hours in front of the screen admiring such high quality graphics, the experience of being a character inside a story, and having influence on the story through our decisions. In order for these titles to come to life, they had predecessors that set the foundations of what they are. Games as basic and old as Tetris have unchained such a macabre series of events even scarier than the story of Hsie:
EA Madden NFL
This popular game that allows you to emulate an NFL match carries a dark legend. Since it is one of the bestselling titles of EA Sports, they decided to innovate and turn the game into something more attractive. The new game included a feature that allowed players to have a match with any online user, becoming the season's sensation. However, those sport figures that decided to lend their image to these games usually end up injured. At least that's what has happened to 14 out of the16 players that are featured on the cover of the package.
In the eighties, when video game arcades were about to reach the highest peal in their popularity, this puzzle created by the Sinneslochen Company appeared among the arcades. The weirdness of its graphics, along with the apparition of "hidden" texts during the course of the game, have made its developers believe that this was a United States government's experiment to brainwash youngsters. There are even witnesses that have allegedly seen men in black come into the arcades to change the options of the game to make it even more addictive.
Taboo: The Sixth Sense
This NES console game emulates a sort of tarot reading. After entering your name and age, you're supposed to wait for the algorithms to predict the future like any regular tarot deck would. The weird part starts when the game predicted the tragic death of some young players. The game was then taken off the market.
It was the boom of robots in cinema, so video games couldn't afford to lag behind. In 1980 Stern Electronics launched Berzek. The title went down in history for being the first video game to cause the death of a player. This misfortune befell on Jeff Dailey, who died of a heart attack in 1981, after achieving the highest score: 16,660 points.
It seems like this game was trying to send a message to its creators. Before its release in 2007, a series of strange events took place; it was as if the game didn't want to be released. The first time was when a power outage took place while the data was being transferred to the master disk. Then, several members from the creative team suffered from health issues or had relatives that died during the game's elaboration. Finally, months after the release, the company that developed the game went bankrupt due to a crippling financial debt.
Gunpeo Yokoi, the creator the Game Boy and Game & Watch, was responsible of creating the console that was "Nintendo's biggest failure." Despite being a main precursor of virtual reality games, it really wasn't well received. That's why this man quit the company in 1996 and died a year after.
This game could be considered the last of the cursed games due to its dark origins. Its first players were the owners of the YouTube channel Obscure Horror Corner, who supposedly found it on the Deep Web. They shared the rather eerie recording of the game-play on their channel. While they were playing a blank screen would appear from time to time with small black wingdings. One Reddit user who decoded the wingdings reportedly got threatening sentences like "Kill, kill, kill again," "U are on my list," "I can track you." Finally, at the end the game cuts to a black screen in which the phrase "Suffering Doesn't End" appears. The only thing known about the game is that it was developed by a firm called ZK in a platform called Terror Engine.