Man dies while playing Diablo III

Russell Shirley

It’s been out only just over a week, and somebody has already died playing Diablo III, although maybe the only really surprising bit is that he wasn’t Korean.

According to a blog post linked over on Tumblr, a 32-year old American man named Russell Shirley died sometime over the weekend of an apparent heart attack, in front of his PC, while playing Diablo III.

“Please, if only for yourselves, take time out of your day to get some exercise,” writes blogger Ben Dornis, who was apparently a friend and colleague of Russell’s.

“Go outside and enjoy the sun. Ride a bike. Do something active. Video games are great fun when played in moderation. This may be an extreme example but take it as advice to not go overboard. Or at least don’t do it alone. He took 3 days off and played Diablo 3 pretty much the whole time. He called in and asked to take Friday off as well. We are placing the blame on ourselves at work wondering if we made him come in on Friday would he still be with us today?”

Be careful, people.

James! James! I wrote the whole article without making a tasteless, obvious joke (well, I deleted them). Can I get a raise now?
Source: BuildStarted (via Tumblr)

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Forum discussion

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  • Tarryn van der Byl
  • Saint_Dee

    Who wrote this article? Certainly not Tarryn
    /sees fine print at the end…xD

    Real talk though, that’s scary… Dying while gaming? Not the way to go. Gaming is not a need (so they say), when one makes it a need, you might lose sight of actual needs (sustenance, exercise, etc). Enjoy gaming don’t live and die by it.

  • SairenSA

    Bravo! :D/

  • SairenSA

    Yeah, problem is, I’m a PC gamer. D:

  • meh

    Russell Shirley, you silly fat [email protected]

  • Pannekoek

    He looks rather unhealthy to begin with, i think the non stop gaming was the last step before the body couldn’t take anymore. Sad story.

  • Draco Lusus

    I don’t think it was the gaming, think it was the super sized mc meals, with diet coke that did it. If not last week, probably the week after. This should not be classed as natural death on the certificate, but suicide.

  • Diablo

    Highly doubt that the game killed him, if you look at the bloke then he might have died at his office from working too hard and late at the office too.

    No disrespect though

  • Did he get to beat the game at least?? Would suck waiting 10 years for d3 and dying before you could beat Diablo eh? Who has the last laugh then!?

  • Henno Kotze

    Title could just as well have read, ‘Man died at PC’. More than likely he had an unhealthy lifestyle which lead to high blood pressure and cholesterol and further complications with his heart. Not the PCs fault he was a lazy unhealthy idiot.

    Like most people awaiting D3 release, he took of from work to play it continuously for the first few days. I know a few people that took of work to play, they are all still alive and kicking. D3 or the PC is not the problem here, it was the unhealthy lifestyle.

    Play as much games as you like, just get off your fat ass and do some exercise. If you die like this you have no-one but yourself to blame.

    Now just wait for those ‘Anti-Gaming’ and Religious groups to get hold of this, bloody twats.


  • Vanton

    Tarryn’s jokes are the best!

  • Carel van Heerden

    It’s strange that no one considers the fact that it might have been completely unrelated to playing games… Sure it can be, but no proof is presented whatsoever.

  • McTSA

    Grim way to go. Sad. A lesson to be learnt here.

  • Simple
  • lol

    I thank Blizzard for keeping him out of the gene pool.

  • Jimbodaman

    Did he drop any good loot?

  • I reckon he got his heart-attack when he disconnected just before a save-point … or where-ever it is your progress gets saved. Possibly lost an epic weapon as well.

    Is it just me or is Blizzard building up quite an epic kill-count (y’know … counting all the WoW and SC related deaths to date). If Blizzard were a BF3 player their stats would be better than mine :p

  • Saint_Dee

    Aww snap… Their K/D would be impressive xD

  • Rudi van der Walt

    damn did he not experience server down time once in the 3 days he was playing?

  • BrendanMcCT

    Shame man, I wonder if he managed to finish it though?

  • idiot+gamer=deadman

    Did he atleast beat the game

  • CelticSlayer#1733

    Sounds like my life first week it came out

  • Here’s my story of how the Tera Online NA(Enmasse Entertainment) MMORPG affected me. Note I was a troll in this game, so the majority of people thought my post was a troll( Linked at bottom of this comment – before/after pictures included). However it wasn’t. I had a chat with the customer support GMs of me begging them to ban my account( I lost 22Lbs went from 191lbs(Very Fit) to 169lbs(Very Unhealthy) in less time than the “Free Game Time” that comes with MMORPGS) I understand in the thread link and in the chat log with GMs that I trolled a lot ( page 2 of the thread contains the GM Chat log ). However the original post is 100% not a troll. I also understand that the GMs, probably were trolling me which is understandable as they knew who I was and were aware I trolled there customer support all the time. So the chat log with them is definately circumstantial , as I can only assume they wouldn’t treat someone else the way they treated a known troll. Now your probably saying “This guy is clearly a troll and this is a joke due to how many times he said the word –troll– in this post.” Think what you want, I gained such a hard mental shell from trolling for 20-40 hours at a time for a month – not to mention I don’t approve of the way I acted in this game, that I —really— could care less whether you think it was a troll or not.(Gotta be quick on your feet and be ready to take a lot of verbal abuse as a troll). My reason for explaining the troll part was to try and eliminate at least a small % that would assume it must be a troll thread in order to help support the topic of playing MMORPGs responsibly. Here I am a month later and my nutrition is ten times better than it had been in my “Fit” picture and my Nutrition/Sleep is 100 times better than it was while I played tera, I am thinking clearly again. I now understand how far gone my brain was by the end of my abuse of my health in this game. Also if anyone from the server I played on (valley of titans) reads this I appologise if you ever had to put up with my trolling abuse in game. – Aaron Rogers.

  • JayT

    I’m sorry to have found this information 2 years later about Russell Shirley. Reading some of these comments however about how someone said they wanted to thank the gaming company for his death I would like to respond about what kind of person Russell Shirley was since he was a friend that I had regretably lost contact with. I first knew Russell from Everquest he loved to play online games and after getting to know him it had a lot to do with a very high intelligence which was in some way satisfied by the challenges certain online games offered him. I helped him get a job at the company I had worked for during the last 18 years and he was the only person out of all those who asked including other friends that I did this for. The reason was he was smarter than me (before you sneer at me I have 2 degrees and graduated with my B.A. well over 3.0 g.p.a.). He was so smart and fast thinking that on the games EQ and WOW he would do the mental calculations, adaption of tactics, etc. as fast as 3 guild raid officers combined. His only problem was his physique. He was always heavyset this was so even before Diablo 3 came out……years before even. There are many who are genetically predisposed to being overweight I’ve seen plenty and no matter how much they do excercise they simply can’t override their body’s programming to store more body fat than say another “thin” person might. I think those who threw cheap shots at him without ever knowing him are things that belong in the toilet and I’m sorry your mother gave birth to a waste of space like those of you who I am referring to. Russell was the kind of guy who would help you out when you needed help so his passing is not an occasion for throwing barbs.

Man dies while playing Diablo III

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