A young woman has gone partially blind after playing China’s most popular game on her smartphone all day. The 21-year-old gamer, who goes under the pseudonym Wu Xiaojing, could not stop playing Honor of Kings until she lost the sight in her right eye.
She was rushed to several hospitals in Nancheng and was diagnosed with Retinal Artery Occlusion (RAO) in her right eye, which is common in elderly patients and can result in permanent loss of vision. Her parents had warned her she ‘might go blind’ if she kept on playing Honor of Kings around the clock. She said: ‘If I don’t work, I usually get up around 6am, have breakfast, then play until 4pm. She told 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.’ She had spent the whole of October 1, a Chinese public holiday, playing the game and then lost her sight after dinner.
A specialist from the Nancheng hospital where Wu was diagnosed said ‘it was likely that she had suffered from RAO after playing “excessively” on her phone’. However, Dr David Allamby, medical director of an eye clinic in London, told the Daily Mail the chances of her developing RAO from her mobile were ‘slim’.
More than 200 million people play Honor of Kings on their smartphones and the game’s operators had to restrict children under the age of 12 to one hour a day to stave off addiction. People on Chinese social media site Weibo were not put off the game by Wu’s plight. One said: ‘This is terrible but I still haven’t uninstalled the game.’