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Russian Teenager Dies After 22-Day Gaming Marathon

Kai Pfaffenbach / Reuters

A teenager died in the Russian republic of Bashkortostan after spending 22 days playing online computer games, TASS state news agency reported Tuesday.

The 17-year-old boy, a resident of Ufa, was hospitalized on Sunday after losing consciousness, said the news report.

Following a leg injury, the boy had been homebound since Aug. 8, seemingly with limited adult supervision.

“While his parents were away, he incessantly played online computer games, wrenching himself away from the screen only to sleep,” Svetlana Abramova, a senior aide at the regional Investigative Committee, was cited as saying by TASS.

Court-appointed medical examiners were looking into the exact death cause, the report said.

Children's rights ombudsman Pavel Astakhov called the incident “a grave warning to all parents,” on his Twitter account Tuesday.

“Dear parents, pay attention to your children! Don't let them become hostages to their computer, the Internet, games!” Astakhov said.

The ombudsman said in a separate post that some evidence suggested the teenager could have spent up to 80 days behind the screen. Astakhov later added that relatives and friends of the boy, whom he identified as Ruslan, did not confirm that he suffered from gaming addiction.

In March of this year, a 23-year-old Chinese gamer died after spending 19 consecutive hours playing World of Warcraft in a Shanghai Internet cafe, Britain's The Daily Telegraph reported at the time.

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