prof. e.

Mass Communication, [multi]media, methodology and much, much more!

Virtual Tragedy

Posted by prof e on July 29, 2014

The growth of online gaming and virtual reality technology has exploded around the world, but perhaps nowhere more dramatically than in the nation of South Korea. With some of the fastest internet connectivity and a cultural tendency towards all things high-tech, Koreans are experiencing internet addiction at unusually high rates.

Case in point is the tragic story of a young couple who allowed their infant daughter to starve to death while they played an online game in which they raised a virtual child. The irony is striking. Last night HBO aired a documentary, Love Child, which told the tragic story as a cautionary tale to those who are too easily distracted by virtual worlds. Here’s the trailer.

The parents were charged with a lesser crime of involuntary manslaughter because of the nature of their “addiction” and the father served one year in jail. They’ve since had another baby and we can only hope that this outcome will be different.

While this is an extreme example of internet addiction and its horrific outcome, milder forms of the ailment may be present closer to home. If you’re wondering if you suffer from net addiction, you can take this self-guided quiz.

 

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2 Responses to “Virtual Tragedy”

  1. McCartney said

    I am still disgusted that this couple didn’t get more than a year, but I also have a hard time understanding gaming addiction. Maybe i’ll watch the documentary and see what it says.

  2. Arabella said

    It is insane that a video game can allow a person to become so addicted that they forget about the real world, especially their own child for that matter. To me, people should be allowed to play video games, but only if they can handle it and limit themselves to how much they play each day. As prsa.org states, they “anticipate, analyze and interpret public opinion, attitudes and issues that might impact, for good or ill, the operations and plans of the organization.” So if anything, more people need to hear about this ridiculous tragedy and comment on it, so the public relations people for these video games know what harm can be caused to consumers. Also, as stated in the “Confessions of a Media Manipulator” slideshow, people have this desire to buy products. So the problem is, producers just continue putting them out there without taking a second to step back and see what kind of effects they are having on their consumers, positive or negative.

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