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Virtual worlds, real consequences 26 October, 2008

Posted by aronzak in 12689122, Games.
Tags: , , , , , ,

There’s a great story on Linuxinsider on how a Japanese woman logged into the account of a virtual husband who suddenly (virtually) divorced her, and then killed the man’s online avatar. Crazy. Apparently, this is a real crime, illegally accessing a computer and manipulating electronic data, and she’s locked up in Sapporo (the man’s home city, which she had to travel to).

“I was suddenly divorced, without a word of warning. That made me so angry”

Virtual worlds are very popular in Japan. There’s an interesting, and perhaps disturbing social trend where teenagers (mainly males) become “hikkomori“, a type of isolated, withdrawn people that sit in their rooms all day playing video games, only emerging to eat. It seems to be a result of the pressure of growing up, occuring mostly to people leaving school. They withdraw completely from social interaction, not wanting to talk or be with friends. Usually this stops after a period of time. Also disturbing is that people in China have died after playing WoW for too long without even eating, and just dying of starvation.

I’ve heard of a virtual funeral with the avatar of a teenager that died. Apparently, it got interupted with someone else backstabbing the avatar. It’s terrible, but I can’t help laughing.



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