Friday, March 5, 2010

You Have to Worry About Us As a Society When You Read This

Okay, I was so stunned after reading this article that I had to share it with you. After having a beautiful healthy son who became a beautiful ill child whom I would have traded my life comes a story that is so outrageously sad and infuriating at the same time that I just had to make sure others saw it. We are a sad sad sick society and here is the proof:

(March 5) -- A South Korean couple addicted to the Internet left their 3-month-old daughter to starve to death while they raised a virtual daughter online during 12-hour bouts at a cyber cafe, police said.

The husband and wife had been on the run since their baby, born prematurely, died five months ago of severe dehydration and malnutrition, police said. They were arrested this week near their home south of the capital Seoul and charged today with child abuse and neglect.

Police say the couple left their infant alone in their apartment and rushed back from the Internet cafe just once a day to feed her. South Korea's official Yonhap news agency first reported the arrests, quoting police.

Prius Online
A South Korean couple was accused of leaving their infant unattended while they played the online game Prius for hours on end. This is an image from the game.
The case highlights what experts say is as a growing trend of Internet addiction in South Korea, which has the highest broadband penetration per capita in the world. Its 24-hour cyber cafes are a mecca for online gaming. Last month, a 24-year-old man collapsed and died in an Internet cafe in the southwestern city of Kwangju after playing computer games for 86 hours straight.

The trend has grown worse with rising unemployment. In this case, police said the couple "indulged themselves online" to escape reality. "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," police officer Chung Jin-Won told Yonhap.

The couple "raised" a virtual character called "Anima" in the popular role-playing computer game Prius Online, police said. The game, similar to Second Life, allows players to create another life for themselves in a virtual world, which includes choosing a job, interacting with other users and earning an extra avatar to nurture once they reach a certain level.

"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," Chung said.

The couple, 41-year-old Kim Yoo-chul and his 25-year-old wife, Choi Mi-sun, also met online. It was not clear whether they had a lawyer.

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