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Baby Dies While Parents Raise Virtual Daughter


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http://www.news.com.au/world/korean-bab ... 5837180407

A COUPLE addicted to computer games let their real baby starve to death while raising a virtual daughter online.

Police said the couple spent up to12 hours a day at internet cafes, leaving their three-month-old daughter home alone at their apartment in Suwon, South Korea.

Police said the couple became obsessed with living online and neglected their real lives, The Sun reports.

They raised an avatar baby through their profiles on a Second Life-style game called PRIUS, while their real daughter was given just one bottle of milk a day.

Father Kim Yoo-chul, 41, and mom Choi Mi-sun, 25, called the emergency services when they returned from one online session in September last year and found their daughter dead.

"We found she had passed away when we woke up in the morning," they said.

But cops became suspicious about how severely dehydrated the baby was.

A spokesman for the National Scientific Criminal and Investigation Laboratory, which carried out an autopsy on the girl, said, "she appears to have starved to death because she was not fed for such a long period of time."

The girl was initially well cared for by her grandmother but her health deteriorated after she moved back in with her parents.

Police tried to arrest the parents but they disappeared after the baby's funeral.

Authorities caught up with them Tuesday and charged them with child abuse and neglect.

The couple told police of their guilt after their arrests.

"Due to our sense of guilt, we have not been to a PC gaming room over these five months," they said.

Online games are massively popular in South Korea.

A 28-year-old man dropped dead recently after playing his favorite game Starcraft for 50 hours non-stop without eating or drinking.

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Ah, right, here was the other incident (4 years ago):

http://play.tm/news/6121/child-dies-as- ... -in-korea/

Yet more troubles in an MMOG-obsessed nation today as it is revealed a South Korean couple allow their baby to die, after the child was left alone for five hours while the parents went to a PC Baang (internet cafÂE to play World of Warcraft. "We were thinking of playing for just an hour or two and returning home like usual, but the game took longer that day," the parents confessed, after being arrested on criminal charges. The baby was just four-months old when left alone, and died of suffocation when she rolled onto her stomach.

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South Korean authorities have already said that the parents will be made to defend this apparent case of outrageous neglect in court. "It's unfortunate, because the tragedy could have been averted if the couple had just left their daughter with Yu's mother-in-law, who lived upstairs from them," said the police. "We booked the pair on criminal charges, judging that when you consider the situation, they were responsible for their daughter's death."

This isn't the first time that gaming addictions have resulted in tragedy, certainly not in South Korea - where games playing comprises one of the nation's staple hobbies - but this perhaps does represent a new low

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