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Friday, March 5, 2010

Weird - South Korean couple took care of an online / virtual baby and let real baby starve to death

Sometimes when you read some news, you cannot believe as to how this is possible. When parents have a baby, they are fiercely protective of them, taking care of them, making sure that the baby is getting all the required attention and nourishment. Even poor families try their best to ensure that their children get all the required attention, and Governments have programs to ensure that children get attention, including free meals. A baby is so defenceless and without any ability to take care of itself that it treated as a criminal matter to neglect a child.
Modern virtual games which allow the creation of virtual avatars, friends, relatives, are very engrossing and can lead to people spending large amounts of time, being totally engrossed in these. However, the combination of these events spelt doom for a poor infant in South Korea, whose parents neglected to feed the baby, instead spending all their time on a virtual child, and their baby eventually starved to death (link to article):

The couple, residents of a Seoul suburb, allegedly neglected their prematurely born three-month-old daughter, feeding her just once a day in between 12-hour stretches at a neighborhood internet cafe, the official Yonhap news agency reported.
Professor Kwak Dae-kyung of Seoul's Dongguk University told the Yonhap news agency that the couple appeared to have lost track of reality. "Online game addiction can blur the line between reality and the virtual world. It seems that taking care of their on-line game character erased any sense of guilt they may have had for neglecting their daughter."

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