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World Of Tanks Streamer Dies During Live Twitch Broadcast

Brian Vigneault, a 35-year-old father of three, died on February 19, 2017, while he was 22 hours into a 24-hour charity livestream on Twitch. The cause of death is unknown.

Vigneault, better known to his fans as Poshybrid, made his name in the streaming community by playing World of Tanks, Wargaming West's popular player-versus-player war-themed combat game. Apparently, Vigneault had spent the previous week running a series of 20+ hour live streams in order to raise money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

As reported by Kotaku, Vigneault left his computer near the end of his 24-hour stream to smoke a cigarette and never returned. Viewers assumed that Vigneault had fallen asleep, but a friend received a call from the Virginia Beach police department the next day informing him of Vigneault's death. According to the Sun, Vigneault's death marks the first time that a streamer has died while broadcasting on Twitch.

Vigneault was a respected and well-liked member of the World of Tanks community, and his fans and fellow players are understandably distraught over the news of his passing. FAME, Vigneault's clan, issued a statement on its Facebook page, saying "We just can not find words to describe how sad is this moment for all of us and for sure this game will not be the same without the legend." Fans have since set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Vigneault's children—at the time of writing, the campaign is about one-third of the way towards reaching its $10,000 goal.

Streaming games doesn't sound dangerous, but the effects that sustained gaming and livestreaming can have on the body are well-documented. Professional streamers, who are often expected to spend hours and hours in front of their consoles and webcams, often suffer from anxiety and depression thanks to their long hours and their jobs' relative instability. Meanwhile, sitting in front of the television for extended periods of time—especially if you're going without sleep—can lead to a number of dangerous side-effects, including blood clots and heart attacks.