Parenting is undoubtedly tough. Parents today have to juggle many lives and take care of their children. However, some parents don’t seem to realize that an infant is completely dependent on them and could very easily suffer if left unattended. One such incident took place in South Korea, where the local government is already working on the next high-speed broadband and wireless internet called 5G.
It was essential to mention the current state of the internet, as it is the primary reason why the child met a horrific end owing to sheer neglect. To understand the unexplainable correlation between high-speed internet and the child’s death, it is vital to understand the South Korean’s perception and attitude towards internet. In the early 90s, the South Korean government implemented policies to aggressively increase the number of internet connections in the country, investing heavily in broadband infrastructure. But as they were expensive, cyber cafes sprung up, which offered high-speed internet at subsidized rates.
Among many who were addicted were a couple who had a 2-month-old daughter. At the time of her death, the daughter, named Sarang, was extremely malnourished and her body appeared wasted. The police who arrested the couple reported that the they would leave her at home for six or more hours at a time, and would go to a local cyber-cafe called PC Bang to play online games, reported Business Insider.
South Korea has many cyber cafes and gaming centers that are open 24-7. They cater to people who have made their career of playing games. These “gamers” continually play for other people who do not wish to waste time playing the preliminary levels of certain games. The accused couple too earned money playing such games while their daughter suffered alone.
However, it is not immediately clear whether the couple suffered from internet and gaming addiction. But locals did indicate that the couple “would come here after dinner and play all night. They were so happy, lost in the game together.” Ironically, while leaving their 2-month-old living, breathing daughter at home, the couple is said to have been raising a virtual child “Anima” inside Prius, an online multiplayer game.
Despite the inhumane and cruel treatment meted out to the infant, the South Korean couple could face lower sentencing since the local law is lenient to people who suffer from mental illness, and the couple’s attorney has appealed the court that since his clients suffer from “internet addiction.” He believes they should be offered counseling and treatment instead of being thrown in a correctional facility.
The cause of the baby’s accidental death has been determined to be due to “online addiction,” making it the first case in the country where game addiction caused a fatality. Is the rest of the developed world at an equal risk?
[Image Credit | Nigel Treblin/AFP/Getty Images]