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Sunday, March 7, 2010

South Korean Couple Lets Baby Die While Nurturing Virtual Child

Sometimes, stories about video game addiction are alarmist malarkey to bump up ratings. Other times, they're just flat-out tragic: The Next Web reports that a couple in South Korea has been arrested for allegedly allowing their prematurely born baby to starve to death while they were busy tending to a virtual kid at an Internet cafe.


The couple reportedly fed their baby only once a day between 12-hour stretches of play-time with a popular role-playing game called Prius Online, in which they were busy raising a virtual kid. The autopsy report of their baby showed the death was a result of a long period of malnutrition.


"The couple seemed to have lost their will to live a normal life, because they didn't have jobs and gave birth to a premature baby," said South Korean police officer Chung Jin-won. "They indulged themselves in the online game of raising a virtual character so as to escape from reality, which led to the death of their real baby."


This of course isn't the first report of online and game addiction leading to tragic results in South Korea - back in 2005, a gamer who played StarCraft for 50 hours straight died after suffering cardiac arrest. They even opened the "Jump Up Internet Addiction" school -- a boot camp of sorts for people suffering online and gaming addiction -- in South Korea in 2007.


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