by Pixeleen Mistral on 06/04/10 at 12:22 pm
The Korean couple who’s child starved to death while they played marathon sessions of an online 3-D game plead guilty to negligent homicide Friday and apparently blamed an unfortunate combination of missing owners’ manuals for the child and Internet gaming addiction. CNN reports that the South Korean couple engaged in 10 hour overnight gameplay sessions at an Internet cafe playing Prius Online, a fantasy game in which players raise an online girl who gains magic powers as she is nurtured and grows older.
According to CNN’s report, the mother told the court, "When she cried, I cuddled her, but I noticed she was getting thinner," and added that she had not learned about baby care at the hospital nor had she read any books on the subject. Clearly children should come with better documentation – but perhaps online gameplay could make learning more fun and help replace the missing childcare manuals. Might Facebook come to the rescue?
It was unclear if the grieving mother had played any of the Facebook childcare games which feature an endless supply of virtual babies that can tolerate intermittent care – but one might imagine how mandating an online diaper change every few days would to be good training for real life.
However, all is not lost – the couple is expecting another child, which could provide them with a second chance to level up – despite the prosecution’s request for 5 year jail terms. Asking for mercy, the couple’s attorney, Kim Dong-young of the Korean Legal Aid Corp. said "They regret it, but Ms. Kim is pregnant, please consider this." and added "They were addicted to Internet gaming; they put their baby to sleep and came home early in the morning". The father of the unborn child seems determined to do better and said, "There will be no second mistake."