Baby Starves While Parents Tend to Virtual Child: Cops

But their virtual baby was doing great

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 5, 2010 12:22 PM CST

(Newser) – A South Korean couple has been arrested for allegedly letting their real-life 3-month-old daughter starve to death while they cared for a virtual baby in an online game. Police say the 41-year-old father and 25-year-old mother spent 12 hours a night playing the Second Life-style online game PRIUS at an internet café. After one marathon session last September, they returned home to find their real daughter dead and called police.

The girl appeared suspiciously dehydrated, and an autopsy revealed that she had died of malnourishment. The parents have been charged with child abuse and neglect. They’ve admitted to feeding the girl rotten powdered milk and frequently spanking her. At one point, her grandparents took the girl, worried that their son’s internet addiction was causing him to neglect her; they returned her 2 weeks before her death.

People use computers at an Internet cafe in China in this file photo.
People use computers at an Internet cafe in China in this file photo.   (AP Photo)
People use computers at an Internet cafe in China in this file photo.
People use computers at an Internet cafe in China in this file photo.   (AP Photo)
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