back to article Chinese gamer plays on while BMW burns to the ground

A Nanjing man was almost burned alive in his BMW because he was so engrossed playing a mobile phone game, according to local reports. This latest in a long line of “crazy Chinese gamer” yarns for once doesn’t involve murder, physical abuse or other tragedy, with the BMW owner escaping with his life. A passer-by, surnamed Wang …


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  1. M Gale

    One wonders if the story would have garnered as much interest if the BMW owner had simply been engrossed in a book when his car caught fire.

    Come now, you know the answer to that one. Books don't require batteries, so therefore don't run on Devil Juice. Computer games on the other hand, are powered by lost souls and Satan. How else do you think they get the little people on the screen? Poor buggers, condemned to an eternity of war so that you can play CoD.


    1. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

      "Books don't require batteries" - Today, some do, don't they?

      1. Matt 21

        People who become engrossed in books may not notice something like a fire under their car but once alerted would take action to get out of the car.

        Some people (and I am in no way thinking of my sons) who become engrossed in a video game would either not even notice someone shouting at them that the car was on fire or they would reply 'I'll just finish this bit...." and not get out of the car.

        1. lglethal Silver badge

          People reading books can become equally engrossed. I used to get into a lot of trouble as a kid for tuning out when reading an enjoyable novel, to the point where my Dad would have to throw something at me after shouting at me for 2 minutes.

          So dont think that only video games can engross someone, people have the ability to become absorbed in almost anything if they choose to...

        2. dotdavid

          "People who become engrossed in books may not notice something like a fire under their car but once alerted would take action to get out of the car."

          Perhaps the guy was in a dodgy area and at first thought the passer by was simply trying to get him to exit the vehicle so he could steal the car?

          1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

            Apparently the driver didn't hesitate in exiting the vehicle, he merely had a bit of tunnel vision and didn't notice the car was burning prior to it being brought to his attention. Given the BMW drivers I am regularly forced to deal with on the highway it comes as no surprise the driver ignored the rest of the world revolving around him.

  2. Gray Ham

    Or maybe ...

    Please use only genuine BMWs. Imitation beemers constitute a severe fire risk ...

    (but thanks to Bing translator for the classic phrase "Wang .... suddenly saw BMW ejected beneath the Martian")

    1. Rukario

      Re: Or maybe ...

      > Imitation beemers constitute a severe fire risk ...

      Ironically enough, this is actually true...

  3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    He needs medical care

    To cure him of his addiction to BMW's

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: He needs medical care

      BMW's what? Come on. Finish the punchline.

      Or did you think apostrophes make things plural?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: He needs medical care

          That said, in this case, there is no confusion writing BMWs, so the apostrophe usage here is grammar Nazi manna.

          Mythical jewish grammar nazis from heaven?

    2. Psyx

      Re: He needs medical care

      " with the BMW owner escaping with his life."

      So, no happy ending, then?

  4. Andrew Jones 2

    Surely this is just natural selection working it's will? The passerby clearly prevented natural selection from working and now this guy who is clearly too stupid to survive without assistance will end up spreading his DNA and creating more stupid people. This is why I keep arguing that computer viruses should be more explosive / deadly. We'd be rid of almost all malware in a few years - because the idiots who don't know any better - wouldn't be around to click on "your media player is out of date, click here to upgrade it" or "while you were sitting here innocently surfing the web, we scanned your computer magically without installing any software to do it, and we discovered you had 99 bazillion problems, but because we are so nice we are going to let you click here and download our super amazing virus exterminator 2099 software to clean up your machine, aren't we nice? We have absolutely no ulterior motives for getting you to download this!"

    While we are at it actually, we should also have a cull on ANYONE on Facebook who reshares crap that a quick Google will reveal to be bollocks. Like "if you cut an onion in half and leave it in your room overnight it will absorb all the germs in the air and stop you getting sick, but because of this magical property of onions, you must never eat an onion that has been cut in half for more than a day - or you will die" or my personal favourite "blah blah blah, dire consequences, look has confirmed this to be true" - with an included link to the article on that confirms it to be false, but everyone still bloody reshares it anyway!


    1. Cliff

      Facebook - solution

      Idiots reshare idiot stuff, and to make things worse they think you're also an idiot who needs educating about pork and coca cola, magic onions etc. Unless you are masochistic, are those people really your friends? You mention the self selecting nature of virus targets, perhaps Facebook membership is also self selection into the idiot pool?

      1. Mattjimf

        Re: Facebook - solution

        "Unless you are masochistic, are those people really your friends?"

        In my case most of them are family, mostly over 60 and just share any crap, but you can't really block family can you? (although you can hide them from your news feed.)

        1. VinceH Silver badge

          Re: Facebook - solution

          Although I hate to defend FaecesBook, this problem is not limited to - and did not start - there. The same people that 'share' this crap on FaecesBook, if they didn't have that site, would share it by emailing it out to every single one of the people in their email contacts.

          And some people do both - sharing it via FaecesBook if that's where they received/saw it, and by email if that's where they received/saw it. And no doubt by other means, as well.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "we discovered you had 99 bazillion problems"

      ...but a bitch ain't one?

      1. Montreal Sean

        Do you feel real ill when you start to chill?

  5. Adam 1 Silver badge

    This is why we should stick with safe and clean electric cars. These newfangled liquid hydrocarbon contraptions are just fireballs waiting to be lit.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Never seen a lithium battery go bang then?

    2. OnTheSpecialBus

      Try google with the following three little words

      Tesla Fire NHTSA

      1. GettinSadda

        Yup - if it had been a Tesla rather than a BMW he would have been safe in the car while it burned!

    3. Cliff

      Loud whooshing sound

      Several commentards get stiff necks from looking up

  6. Nuke

    Yooof ?

    "it will still add weight to the argument of some hardline commentators that video games are destroying the nation’s youth"

    Where in the news report does it say anything about their ages? Anyway, with China's over-population it sounds like a few less yooof would help things, especially by Darwinian selection.

    Is China so crowded that parking in the street is the only place you can find to play a game? China must be a lot more liberal than the UK in this - park in a UK shopping street like the one in the photo and you'd soon either have a penalty sticker or a few earfuls from other drivers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yooof ?

      Overpopulation not really an issue, an aging population is...

      But even scarier is the male/female imbalance.. there are way too many boys and not enough girls... And that is in a country where openly being homosexual is very rare, I think their government should encourage it, a great way to keep the population under control and provide stable homes for orphans....

      1. Paul_Murphy

        Re: Yooof ?

        Traditionally one way to deal with an over-population is to take someone elses' land- using any excess males to do so.


    2. Thomas 4

      Re: Yooof ?

      A question that will inevitably be asked:

      "What can we do to stop the rise of these evil video games?"

      A question that almost certainly won't be asked:

      "Why are these people so unhappy that they have to obsessively play games and how can we make their lives better?"

  7. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    Coming soon...

    "Lazy yoof sleeps through house fire"

    As much as it's enjoyable to take the piss out of someone not noticing imminent danger the presumption seems to be that they should have noticed the fire. There's no evidence that they, or anyone else in the same situation, would have at that point.

    Would they have died in their car, obsessed with completing the level they are on, while flames engulfed them? We can only guess but it seems unlikely, despite that being the spin put on the story.

  8. FunkyEric

    No-one has provided the most important piece of information yet....

    What game was he playing?

    1. Michael 28

      Re:What game was he playing?

      ... or wether this BMW was petrol or Diesel. What model? (My guess a 525...hard to tell from what's left). Also, was it equipped with a "Lotus" style alarm system?

      Probably a cheap knock-off of this system.

  9. Duffy Moon

    Not just games

    When I was young and even more of an idiot than I am now, I noticed that my bean bag had caught fire while enjoying 'relations' with my girlfriend. I decided not to act immediately, as my mission was not quite complete. Happily, we both survived (unlike the bean bag, or indeed the relationship).

    1. disgruntled yank Silver badge

      Re: Not just games

      Cheating on you with your own chair? What a hussy!

      It is my impression, by the way, that "bean bag" is or was Barbadian slang for part of the male equipment...

    2. sisk Silver badge

      Re: Not just games

      I could make all kinds of jokes about hot sex or the heat of passion here, but I'll refrain out of propriety.

      Ok. That's a lie. I just can't choose which of the cheesy puns that jumped through my heads as I read your post to use.

    3. localgeek

      Re: Not just games

      I'm one of apparently 3 people on the planet that remembers the name Duffy Moon. I've lifted some heavy rocks with his inspiration...

      1. Duffy Moon

        Re: Not just games

        You can do it!

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not just games

      Had a similar problem once, but it was the girls hair that caught fire (from an errant candle). Pausing for a moment to extinguish her seemed prudent.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fire! Fire!

    FFS i am! but the bugger moves too fast, I'll get him this time...

  11. sisk Silver badge

    To be fair it's rather difficult for someone inside the car to know that the undercarriage is on fire until the flames are licking their feet through the floor boards (or the gas tank, in which case the people inside the car likely still won't know the car's on fire as they pass into the great beyond).

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    a.k.a. Burn My Wireless ;)

    1. PhilBuk

      Re: BMW...

      Oh, do they fit wirelesses in BMW these days? They certainly are moving up market.


  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No BMW driver has ever read a book...

    ... unless it was titled 'How to drive too fast like a twat up someones arse'

  14. Zot

    A stationary BMW catches fire? How?

    That's the biggest mystery here.

    And that second to last paragraph, shouldn't it say makers of video games are like drug dealers, not the people playing them?

    1. Martin Budden

      Re: A stationary BMW catches fire? How?

      Round these parts, the most common way for a stationary car's undercarriage to catch fire is the hot exhaust pipe (and very hot catalytic converters) setting fire to long dry grass. Drivers who regularly go off-roading know not to park over long dry grass, some city folk don't.

  15. johnwerneken


    This is funny. Like folks with no larynx due to tobacco, smoking through the hole in their neck. The whole concept is funny. And would be if the guy had been engaged in sex, or any number of notoriously engrossing activities. Not because there's anything funny about injury, but just because.

    Ruining those who do it? WTF does that mean? It's voluntary, so doing it can't ruin anything. Ruin is when you want a house, but it burns down. Ruin is not when you set fire to the house intentionally to roast marsh mellows.

    No one's business how people spend their time or their money. If someone would rather finish their chapter and burn alive, instead of losing the book and getting out, it's their choice. Where do these tyrants get off claiming a right to restrict smoking drinking gaming etc.?

  16. Stevie Silver badge


    So the Chinese yoofs are addicted to pointless video games. Excellent.

    Now if we can just get their bankers on the same page as ours the playing field should level out nicely once more.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bah!

      We need our bankers on the same page as theirs.

  17. messele

    Seems to me...

    ...BMWs are now so boring and ubiquitous nobody takes a second glance even when one is ablaze.

    Congratulations on your new euro box toaster.

  18. macole111

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am writing to inform you of a fire...

    No no, too formal.

    Fire! Fire! Fire!

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    Maurice Moss.

  19. Anonymous Coward #13

    The article doesn't mention it, but I bet the guy was sitting in the car with the engine running and eventually the catalytic converter overheated (without a moving air flow to cool it) and it got hot enough to set the car on fire.

    1. Nuke

      @ Anonymous Coward #13

      Wrote :- "I bet the guy was sitting in the car with the engine running and eventually the catalytic converter overheated"

      There is a guy at my work who sits in his car for an hour every lunchtime - with the engine running if there is an "R" in the month, presumably for the heater. And we are concerned about CO2 emissions ?

  20. John Tserkezis

    I want to know:

    How many camera phones in China are monochrome only?

    Or, I understand photos get converted to monochrome (among other conversions so they look good) for print, but is that the ONLY copy that gets distributed?

  21. Chozo

    can't comment

    got to reach the 1000 'th level for the nexrt pwr up

  22. Martin Budden
    Paris Hilton

    Wang Pulls Off Hot Undercarriage Snatch

    (this comment intentionally left blank)

  23. MrDamage

    Missed Opportunity

    Surely the headline should have read;

    "Man with blazing undercarriage saved by Wang!"

  24. Suricou Raven

    Could it be a fake.

    The government of China has effective media control and considers propaganda to be a force for the public good.

    If they are trying to deal with a precieve problem of game-obcession, it seems plausible they might seed the media with a few made-up stories on the subject to raise public awareness and concern.

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