Joi Ito discusses a Funeral in World of Warcraft
 Snowly of The World of Warcraft (Xinhua) A young girl nicknamed "Snowly" died last month after playing the online game "World of Warcraft" for several continuous days during the national day holiday. Several days before Snowly’s death, the girl was said to be preparing for a relatively difficult part of the game (namely, to kill the Black Dragon Prince) and had very little rest. She told her friends that she felt very tired. A big online funeral was held for Snowly one week after her death (see photo from The Mirror).
With 4.5M users there are bound to be deaths in the World of Warcraft and gauging by the relationships I’m building with fellow gamers I can definitely see how an online funeral would be a very big deal. I often see players playing until they pass out, especially when they are questing in a group where their participation is required for the group to hold together as a team. (I’ve passed out a few times as well.) There is also a lot of pressure to catch up if you drop behind a group of friends in order to play your role in the quests.
However, I don’t see this as a reason to bash these games. Clearly the addictive nature of these games are a risk from a productivity and health perspective, but I think that the sense of responsibility and teamwork that is built by the games exceeds this cost.
I have to take a different stance than Joi on this. While I wholeheartedly agree that the relationships and teamwork building is a good thing, it’s the extreme that it’s taken to. As Joi himself says, “I’ve passed out a few times as well.”. See, this is where the problem lies. You shouldn’t have to play for that long that you pass out. This actually goes against the spirit of teamwork. It’s one thing to push yourself to your limit, but it’s another to know what that limit is and not put your team in a position of depending on you, and then having you not be there.
Play for hours at a time if you want. Have marathon sessions with lot’s of Mountain Dew or Bawls. But, don’t do it all the time. Don’t force yourself beyond what you can handle. Don’t become so absorbed in the game that the rest of the world ceases to exist.