Marathon gamers lured by low rates

Marathon gamers lured by low rates

PETALING JAYA, Malaysia - Faced with much competition, cybercafes are offering special rates to lure gamers, allowing them to stay glued to the computer for marathon sessions.

A random check by The Star found the special rates ranging from RM1 (S$0.40) per hour to RM10 for 12 hours.

One cybercafe in Seri Kembangan is offering RM2 for every hour and RM10 for a 12-hour gaming session to keep their customers glued to their seats.

Another popular cybercafe in Damansara offers two packages - RM6 for three hours and RM10 for six hours - while it charges RM2.50 per hour for normal users.

In Subang Jaya, a cybercafe offering a flat rate of RM2 per hour has managed to attract gamers via a RM50 monthly membership subscription, which would see them charged at only RM1 per hour.

A former gamer said that while cybercafes were supposed to close at midnight, many were operating throughout the night.

"From the front of the shops, these cyber­cafes would appear closed but they keep their back doors open for 'late night' customers. When morning comes, they re-open the main entrance," said the youth, who stopped playing two years ago.

Another gamer, Benjamin Teoh, 21, said he used to be addicted to playing computer games but quit about two years ago to focus on his studies.

"I became addicted because the game was very interesting. Nowadays, I only play for an hour or two," said Teoh, adding that he was addicted to the multiplayer online game Defence of the Ancients.

It was reported that Ong Yee Haw, 23, who was addicted to computer games, died of a heart attack at his home in Bandar Baru Air Hitam, Penang, after apparently playing continuously for over 15 hours at a cybercafe nearby.

On Dec 27 last year, 35-year-old broker Liu Peng Han was found dead inside his home, supposedly after playing video games, with a video game console in front of him.

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