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Angry online 'divorcee' kills virtual husband. . . .Follow

#1 Oct 25 2008 at 11:17 AM Rating: Good
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This made my day today @ work . . . yes I know its a saturday.

Headline: Angry online 'divorcee' kills virtual husband in cyber revenge

TOKYO - A 43-year-old player in a virtual-world game became so angry about her sudden and unexpected divorce from her online husband that she logged on with his password and killed his digital persona, police said Thursday.

The woman used another player's ID and password to log onto the popular interactive game "Maple Story" to carry out the virtual murder in May, a police official in the northern city of Sapporo said.

Police said the woman admitted to carrying out her cyberspace revenge and has been jailed on suspicion of illegally accessing a computer and manipulating electronic data.

"'I was suddenly divorced, without a word of warning. That made me so angry,"' the official quoted her as telling investigators.

The woman, a piano teacher, had not plotted any revenge in the real world, the official said.

She has not yet been formally charged. If convicted, she could face up to five years in prison or a fine up to $5,000.

Players in "Maple Story" create and manipulate digital images called "avatars" that represent themselves, while engaging in relationships, social activities and fighting monsters and other obstacles.

In virtual worlds, players often abandon their inhibitions, engaging in activity online that they would never do in the real world. For instance, sex with strangers is a common activity.

The woman used login information she got from the 33-year-old office worker when their characters were happily married to kill the character. The man complained to police when he discovered that his online avatar was dead.

The woman was arrested Wednesday and taken 1,000 kilometres from her home in southern Miyazaki to be detained in Sapporo, where the man lives, the official said.

The police official said he did not know if she was married in the real world.

Bad online behaviour is usually handled within the rules set up by online worlds, which can ban miscreants or take away their virtual possessions.

In recent years, virtual lives have had consequences in the real world.

When bad deeds lead to criminal charges, prosecutors have found a real-world activity to cite - as in this case, in which the woman faces possible charges of illegal computer access.

In August, a woman was charged in Delaware with plotting the real-life abduction of a boyfriend she met through the virtual reality website "Second Life."

In Tokyo, a 16-year-old boy was charged with stealing the ID and password from a fellow player of an online game in order to swindle virtual currency worth $360,000.

Virtual games are popular in Japan, and "Second Life" has drawn a fair number of Japanese participants. They rank third by nationality among users, after Americans and Brazilians.

with sources from The Canadian Press
http://technology.sympatico.msn.ca/News/ContentPosting?newsitemid=52224028&feedname=CP-TECHNOLOGY&show=False&number=10&showbyline=True&subtitle=&detect=&abc=abc&date=True&paginationenabled=false


What an amazing virtual world we live in.
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#2 Oct 27 2008 at 7:26 AM Rating: Decent
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Up to 5 years in prison is a bit much for what translates to "breaking someone's Lego castle." What does a punishment like that seek to enforce? ..that the internet is serious business?? Wouldn't it be more effective for the Maple Story company to just restore his character?

"Illegal computer access" sounds more serious, but that's just terminology; it has to be understood within the context of what happened. Didn't anyone teach these 30 year old children that there are some problems you shouldn't call the police for?


There are a number of online games out there that use the whole "pay real money to make your character better, faster" setup. It's like something a cult would do (and has done.) There is no competition inside of their own game, so the company can do whatever they want... moderate the improvement charges however they like. The law should try to moderate this crap instead of punish the people who try to abuse a game that's been abusing everyone in it; it isn't like the company doesn't have the power to handle the problem themselves already.

..the maturation of online gaming is a freaking mess. At least FFXI, WoW, and similar games, aren't really milking people so bad. (The cost is somewhat cheap relative to the usual playtime.)
#3 Oct 27 2008 at 1:55 PM Rating: Decent
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746 posts
Aye prison is a bit harsh for this. If anything it should be community service of releveling the character to its previous state. Or a fine payed to the victim at rmt prices for all the time and monies lost.
#4 Oct 31 2008 at 11:30 AM Rating: Decent
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I don't think its too harsh at all, you're not supposed to be doing stuff like that PERIOD.
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