XI’AN – A woman from northwest China’s Shaanxi province has gone partially blind, after playing a game on her smartphone 24 hours straight, according to Chinese media.
The 21-year-old, who goes under the pseudonym Wu Xiaojing, was a hardcore fan of popular multiplayer smartphone game Honour of Kings and ended up in the hospital after a 24-hour gaming marathon left her blind in one eye.
Wu, who works in finance, was said to have been playing the game for several hours when she suddenly lost her sight in her right eye.
She admitted to regularly playing the game for up to eight hours without eating, drinking or going to the toilet.
“If I don’t work, I usually get up around 6am, have breakfast, then play until 4pm,” she told Chinese state media outlet The Global Times.
“I would eat something, take a nap, wake up and continue playing until 1 or 2am. My parents had warned me that I might go blind.”
According to Wu, she had spent the whole of Oct. 1, a public holiday, playing the game. It was only after dinner that she lost her sight and was brought to the hospital.
She was diagnosed the following day with Retinal Artery Occlusion (RAO) – usually more common in elderly patients – which occurs when there is a blockage in one of the arteries that carry blood to the retina.
Honour of Kings is one of China’s most popular smartphone games, and has some 200 million users.
The company behind the game, Tencent, had previously had to restrict kids under the age of 12 to just one hour of game time per day, in order to prevent addiction.