Health Risks to Continuous Live Streaming?

The recent death of gamer Brian C. Vigneault has launched a New York Times piece that “Pushes Risks of Live Streaming Into View.”

The NYT reports that Vigneault was close to concluding a “24-hour marathon of live streaming himself” when he left the computer to head out, but “never returned.” The cause of death has not been determined and “there was no indication of foul play, according to the police in Virginia Beach.”

But the incident has raised new questions about the intense drive of marathon live streaming and gaming.

The piece states: “Mr. Vigneault’s death followed reports of other players dying during or after lengthy gaming sessions in Taiwan and South Korea, intensifying a discussion about the health risks of a streaming culture that rewards people for staying online for long periods. At least one video game streamer has blamed long bouts of live streaming for his emergency heart surgery, and others have written about the potential dangers of playing for hours on end.”

It continues: “Would-be professional streamers typically endure a relentless grind to build an audience. Anytime they leave their computers, they risk having followers peel away to another channel. The resulting lifestyle is often unhealthy, requiring long sedentary periods with little sleep. Some gamers are fueled by junk food, caffeine and alcohol.”

Of course, Twitch (for example) offers guidelines, including one prohibiting “Self-Destructive Behavior: Any activity that may endanger your life or lead to your physical harm is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to: suicide threats, intentional physical trauma, use of illegal drugs, and drinking excessively.”

In January, Polygon ran an opinion piece that outlined many of the “balance” challenges that intense live-streaming can create.

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