SHESPEAKS Your Power to Influence

Couple Starves Baby While Playing A Video Game

Couple Starves Baby While Playing A Video Game

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?

Make a Comment

Comment  *
 
 
  • SiLvEr-StArS By SiLvEr-StArS
    03.22.10  

    I was watching the news and saw that stories about the baby crying and was starving food a bottles/food while they played games. Think it's just immature/loser people, That should not be rasing children. Honestly I think it's all so Sick. I myself dont know anyone who is that addictive to the internet. But sounds crazy but it's a little more healthier then doing/useing hard drugs and alcohol. I guess???

  • camiead1 By camiead1
    03.22.10  

    How did they enjoy playing the game with the baby crying. I cant have any alone time without my daughter crying. I dont underdstand how they just tuned her out. that breaks my heart

  • pjclayton57 By pjclayton57
    03.22.10  

    This is one of the saddest things I have heard in a long time. I don't understand some people anymore.

  • wizzbizz2010 By wizzbizz2010
    03.23.10  

    Its sad when the computer has become the only way of life for some.

  • MadHatter By MadHatter
    03.23.10  

    I think that they should start to put a time limit on people who uses internet cafes seriously. i remember stories about a guy who practically lived in the internet cafe and play his dumb games until he died on the spot. this is so irrisponsible for them. caring for a virtual baby opposed to thier living baby? if they can't accept the responsibility of having a baby and starting a family, they should have wrapped up before they smacked up. disgraceful. this isn't only happening in Korea. China and japan aren't far behind with the over intense "gaming" in internet cafes

  • septmom By septmom
    03.23.10  

    I like MadHatter's suggestion of putting a time limits on how long people can remain logged in to certain sites. I know there would be ways to get around that, but internet gaming sites should at least try to promote healthy gaming. I am, by no means, dismissing this couple's deplorable behavior. It makes me sick to my stomach to think that this child's existence was being completely ignored. There are SO many couples that can't have children of their own. I just don't understand why parents that don't want the responsibility of children don't give their babies to people that do!

  • septmom By septmom
    03.23.10  

    I think anyone that stays on the internet for such extended amounts of time has real problems, because you have to at least lie to yourself about your own health if you do that. I think people of that personality can definitely become addicted to that feeling of escape, but not to the fault of game/site developers, but to the fault of their own, for not dealing with their issues that make them want to virtually escape from their lives.

  • jojobear2007 By jojobear2007
    03.23.10  

    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!

  • Momto3AmazingKids By Momto3AmazingKids
    03.25.10  

    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 www.startingoutsmall.com info@startingoutsmall.com

  • pdaervo By pdaervo
    03.25.10  

    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.

More stories like this