Couple Starves Baby While Playing A Video Game

SS Member Image By drodriguez 03.22.10
Couple Starves Baby While Playing A Video Game
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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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  • veggiebear By veggiebear

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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!

  • septmom By septmom

    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.

  • septmom By septmom

    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!

  • MadHatter By MadHatter

    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

  • wizzbizz2010 By wizzbizz2010

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

  • pjclayton57 By pjclayton57

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

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