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South Korean Baby Dies as Parents Tend to Virtual Daughter

Can you imagine neglecting your own child in favor of a virtual one? A South Korean couple did exactly that, and their 3-month-old daughter died of malnutrition. The dad, 41, and mom, 25, both unemployed and depressed, spent long periods of time at an Internet cafe preoccupied with their online child and only fed their human preemie once a day. A report said:

The couple had become obsessed with nurturing a virtual girl called Anima in the popular role-playing game Prius Online, police said on Friday. The game enables players to interact with Anima and as they do so, help her to recover her lost memory and develop emotions.

The parents have since been arrested. While this is an extreme and devastating example, it begs a question about technology. More than ever, parents have the power to stay connected on gaming and social networking sites. And, what starts out as a few minutes online can quickly turn into hours. Do you think today's kids will be adversely affected by all the time their moms and dads spend on the computer?

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
phatE phatE 7 years
wow. this is so so sad & i agree the root issue here is depression. it's disturbing that friends/family of this couple didn't notice this trend. incredibly scary how isolating depression/addictions can be.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 7 years
Starbucks, you're right, depression is the main problem here. What a shame. There are so many people who would have taken that little girl in and given her the home she deserved. When my girl was released from the hospital after being born, I remember saying, "You're just letting me leave with her?" Shouldn't there be a mandatory parenting class or a psychological evaluation before someone can bring a baby home?
starbucks2 starbucks2 7 years
Wow, that just made me choke up. Especially as a new mom it just blows my mind how people can hurt or neglect little kids. I don't think the problem is the internet though. It can be very addictice, but it says the parents were depressed, so they obviously were unfit parents to begin with. If they didn't become addicted to the internet it could have been drugs or alcohol.
kty kty 7 years
very heartbreaking
runningesq runningesq 7 years
That is heartbreaking.
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