Diablo III Claims its First Real-World Victim, 32-Year Old Russell Shirley – UPDATED


We have been contacted by one of Russell's close friends. He's asked that we keep the information he gave us anonymous and unpublished, but it goes without saying that what has transpired here has been a misunderstanding.

The anonymous contact provided us with a picture of Russell and his friends, and the e-mail in question was heartfelt.

We believe that the blog post Gameranx reported on was not trustworthy and it was a mistake on our part to have even used its content. Please remember Russell Shirley not as a Diablo III-addicted gamer, but as a great person – kind, loving, and caring.

This is a full retraction of statement regarding the death of Russell Shirley and the events surrounding said death. While we know that – morally – what has transpired here cannot be undone, we apologize to Russell, his friends, and his family.


What everyone here needs to understand is we reported on the statements of a blog claiming to have been friends with Russell. We even sourced the tweet we found it through. If you are to blame someone, blame the blog.

As for the validity of any of your comments, I urge you to send an e-mail to [email protected] if you have proof that you were indeed a friend of Russell's. Then – and only then – will we consider changing the content of this article.

PROOF means pictures of you and Russell together, etc. Please include a factual account of the story behind this happening with your evidence.


– Jacob


Good friend and writer here at Gameranx, Dave Oshry tweeted that the first Diablo III-related death has occurred. It’s sad that we have come to see this as a common phenomenon. It is as if we all expected there to be deaths associated with the game.

32-year old Russell Shirley was found dead in his home over the weekend by his landlord and coworker. He suffered a heart attack after a three-day binge on Diablo III.

The blog post Oshry linked us to indicates that Shirley lived a sedentary lifestyle, and while his place of employment offered free gym membership, he was hard pressed to use it.

I suppose it goes without saying that everyone should monitor their playtime, and take time out for physical activity. Personally, I get my daily physical activity through the sport of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu; there are tons of other options, though. Try and channel that competitive spirit you have fostered through gaming into self-improvement once in a blue moon and the results might be more attractive than you thought.

Our hearts, thoughts, and controllers are with Russell Shirley. We here at Gameranx ask that you treat games as anything else, and only use them in moderation.