A representative of the market research firm The NPD Group made a startling announcement at the video gaming industry's 2009 DICE Summit in Las Vegas. Gaming industry insiders knew that their product was undergoing some serious growth, but the revelation that 6 million new potential customers began playing video games in 2008 came as a welcome surprise. The conference also revealed that online gaming, when gamers play against each other via the Internet, rose two percent in 2008 [source: dicesummit.org].
All this activity on the gaming front has led to concerns over video game addiction. These concerns were validated in 2005 when a young man from South Korea passed away after a long stint playing the online version of the game Starcraft. The game is popular in South Korea, and popular gamers are revered. The 28-year-old man in this tragic case had been playing the game for nearly 50 hours straight at an Internet café in Taegu, taking only short breaks to nap and use the restroom. He was rushed to a hospital after collapsing, but died shortly thereafter. Police believed that the cause of death was cardiac arrest brought on by severe exhaustion.