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"Brave New World": Death by Gaming

Is it possible to play yourself to death? Officials at a Chinese Internet cafe think so ever since a 30-year-old man died after playing a game online for three days. The man collapsed, and paramedics failed to revive him on the scene. About 100 other people using the cafe for Internet purposes left in fear.

China is second only to the U.S. in number of Internet users and is home to millions of online gamers who play for hours in public Internet cafes. Internet addiction has spawned a counseling industry to treat people who cannot stop playing online games or surfing the web for days at a time.

Aldous Huxley's book Brave New World was written in 1932, but Huxley correctly forecast some of the issues of the 21st century. Huxley's premise was that people would come to love the things that enslaved them, and that they would worship the technology that would undo their capacities to think. He believed that by inflicting pleasure upon people, they could be controlled, and ultimately ruined, by the trivia they pursued.

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