Tuesday, March 16, 2010


We all have some form of addiction in our lives both big and small. One of the recent addictions that started to ring the alarm in the 20th and 21st century is game addiction. As technology advanced, video and computer games became more realistic, more complex and more addictive. I have heard tragic game addiction stories in news before, but one news that I have heard recently in South Korean news broadcast and blogosphere made me realize the seriousness of game addiction once again. On March 4th, a married couple in Su-Won, a city in Gyeonggi Province, was arrested for starving their three-month-old daughter to death. This couple was addicted to an on-line game called Prius On-line which is a role-playing game where the players get to raise an on-line character. The couple met each other through on-line chatting and got married. They spent 12 hours at a PC room per day, leaving their baby daughter alone in their home without anyone to take care of her or to feed her. They returned home one day after playing long hours of on-line game to find their daughter dead. An autopsy at National Institute of Scientific Investigation confirmed that the girl died of starvation. They couple had been on the run for five months until they got arrested. What really shocked me was that this couple was raising a girl character on-line while their real daughter was alone in their house starving. Police has reported that this couple’s on-line game addiction was most likely due to their unstable financial status and stress from childcare. Internet game has become a powerful and popular way of avoiding reality for many people. Although I am not a big fan of games, or rather I must say that I am a terrible game player, I can see why computer games provide a little haven for people under a lot of stress. It creates a new and controllable reality—a reality where one does not have to take responsibilities. A fake name of your choice, a fake identity of your choice and a fake reality where you can do whatever you want is set before your eyes. I understand that we all need a break from reality every once in a while. However, it is important to remember that the reality that we are bound to and the reality that we must always return is the one where we have to take responsibilities. This reality may not be fun and this reality may be stressful enough to drive you nuts. But, this reality is what is real and what makes you real.

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