1 Articles for '2010/03'
Other | 2010/03/05 01:50 | Web 2.0 Asia
A bizarre, sad story related to online games. A married couple in Suwon, Korea has been arrested by the police for negligence of their parental duties. The couple left their three month old baby starve to death, because they were "too obsessed with online gaming." Ironically enough, it turned out that the online game they were playing to their baby's death was themed around, well guess what, raising a virtual avatar.
So in short, the couple were too busy taking care of their "virtual baby" that they kept their "real baby" completely unattended and starved to death.
The game is called "Prius Online" and the players can adopt an avatar and grow it. Game players can also buy the avatars virtual items such as clothes, or even write a blog about their avatars, much resembling a parenting diary.
The parents in charge are said to have been under great parenting stress, presumably due to their financial difficulties, and as their parenting stresses mounted, they became more and more obsessed with the game -- their "escape" from the real world.
This is really unheard of, but I'm afraid the world might see more incidents like this as games become more real and blur the lines between the real world and the virtual world. Unlike packaged games, online games and MMORPGs often do not have a clear ending, forcing users to put in endless amount of time and energy into the game. Some players become seriously obsessed with the game and play it for days straight without a wink of sleep. After days of immersive gaming, they might get to confuse the real world and the virtual world, like the way the characters in the movie Avatar gradually became more familiar with the virtual world.