Couple Starves Baby While Playing A Video Game

   By drodriguez  Mar 22, 2010

One of the strangest and saddest stories being reported about recently is about a South Korean couple who allegedly neglected their own baby to the point of death while caring for a virtual child online.  Reports state that the couple’s 3-month-old daughter was only being fed once a day while the parents took part in lengthy 12-hour internet cafe sessions playing a 3-D game in which they doted on a virtual child.  The infant’s autopsy reveals she died from malnutrition. 

A recent report from CNN discusses some of the details about this case of neglect in South Korea.  The online 3-D game the couple was playing is called Prius Online.  The premise of the game is for the player to nurture their "online companion", Anima, who grows and gains powers as the game progresses. 

According to the police in Seoul, the couple, a 25-year-old woman and 41-year-old man, had lost their jobs and used the game as an escape from reality.  It is being speculated that they were also using the game as a distraction from having to deal with caring for the premature birth of their now deceased daughter.  Police officer Chung Jin -Won states, "They instead played an online game in which they raised a virtual character so as to escape from reality, which led to the death of their real baby."

Author, Michael Breen, of a book called "The Koreans" tries to explain how something like this could possibly happen.  Breen says, "South Korea remains a very conservative society so people who fall outside the norm can come under severe stress and pressure.  The internet has provided such people with a paradise to escape and simply get lost in."  The idea of the internet being like a drug has become more popular in recent years as new websites and games are developed and people admit to the addictive effect it has on them. 

What do you think of these reports that a South Korean couple neglected their infant to the point of death to care for a virtual child?

Do you think the internet can be as addictive to some people as drugs or alcohol?

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mmyers81 by mmyers81 | stockton, NY
Jul 16, 2010

that is just wrong. the parents should be punished for life in some way. i do think video games online or the gaming sysyems are very addictive to some. people need to grow up and realize that if they have kids the kids need their attention before the games/internet.

mommaduck by mommaduck | SAINT CHARLES, MO
May 20, 2010

i do think computer, games are addictive but to starve a baby cause you are to in to your game shame on you. i hope you rot in He**. How could you. this is ridiculous. it makes me want to cry. where were the friends and family did no one know. i am speachless well sort of. Losers.

MyEmptyCanvas by MyEmptyCanvas | KOSCIUSKO, MS
Apr 20, 2010

Yes, the internet can be addictive, but anyone who attends to online gaming more-so than taking care of a real child obviously has some type of mental problem. If they did not want that precious child they should've given her up for adoption to a loving family. How sad.

Kristi by Kristi | WASHINGTON, WV
Apr 20, 2010

These people should be sentenced to death.

gspencer by gspencer | San Ramon, CA
Apr 14, 2010

Yep, an addiction is an addiction. I heard they have video game detox centers in Europe. So sad for the child... and idiotic for the parents. Just goes to show you people need people. If that couple had family, friends or some medical practitioner checking up on the premature child, or the postpartum mother - it's unlikely the outcome would have been the same.

Marylandgurl2002 by Marylandgurl2002 | Fayetteville, NC
Apr 13, 2010

The internet is addictive. But when it gets to the point of neglecting your own child. That is terrible.

amandapoet by amandapoet | Pleasant Gap, PA
Apr 13, 2010

Wow--I truly cannot identify with either of the parents--how both of them could be so wrapped up in this virtual world to the point where their real child died almost seems pre-mediated--especially with the game they chose to play. Mental health seriously needs to be taken more seriously in all workd societies--it's appallingly eveident that the mental deterioration of one person has the potential to be catastrophic for those involved in that person's (or people's) lives.

Jeccalynn09 by Jeccalynn09 | Sumter, SC
Apr 09, 2010

That is too sad! While I am a huge fan of video games and internet games, my child was never ignored or neglected! My ex-husband on the other hand was useless and I definitely witnessed gaming addiction in our household. I do not understand how it becomes more important than your family, but it can.

BlondieKAA by BlondieKAA | CRIVITZ, WI
Apr 08, 2010

Wow! This is really sad! I personally don't know anyone addicted to the internet like this. However, it does seem like someone could be addicted to it as they would be addicted to drugs or alcohol, since they neglected their baby to fulfill their own pleasures.

shopperMD by shopperMD | Humble, TX
Apr 06, 2010

This is so sad. I do not understand this and I just cant understand this.

veggiebear by veggiebear | COLCHESTER, VT
Mar 31, 2010

I would say almost anything, if its being used as a method of escape from emotinal pain, boredom, depression, reality, etc., definitely has a good chance of becoming addictive. The internet has many, many options for people wanting to escape and/or lose themselves in a different reality. From porn sites, to gambling sites, to World of Warcraft, to chatrooms, people are addicted to the internet. I guess we, the family and friends, should be looking out for signs of trouble, as we would with any addict. It doesn't sound like anyone was looking out for these people or their baby. It doesn't excuse what they did- that's horrible and twisted in a sick ironic way- but maybe if we see the warnings ahead of time, we can get help for people like that

Raine22 by Raine22 | Tallahassee, FL
Mar 29, 2010

I dont think was right what this couple did at all to this little baby. but for some the internet is very addictive and some dont want to deal with being a parent at all.

pdaervo by pdaervo | Diamond Bar, CA
Mar 25, 2010

I don't think that this is right at all, but I think you have to understand Korean culture at least a little to understand the story completely.

Momto3AmazingKids by Momto3AmazingKids | TEANECK, NJ
Mar 25, 2010

There are no words to express how sad and pathetic that is...we all probably get a bit "addicted' to the internet and all that it can offer us, but at the risk of your own baby who is helpless and need their parents for constant support and attention? That is NOT OKAY!!!! I hope people can learn from these two adults who acted like children and never make their fatal mistake! Rebecca Barkai/CEO

jojobear2007 by jojobear2007 | Jenks, OK
Mar 23, 2010

That is really sad! A baby should never have to go through anything like that. God gave us children to care for and raise up to be good Godly Christians and the parents that did that put their child in an unsafe place and the little baby didn't deserve that!