Hell Hath No Fury Like a Virtual Woman Scorned

November 11, 2008 at 12:33 pm Leave a comment

When you think of cybercrime, what comes to mind?

Identity theft? Chatroom harassment?

What about (cue ominous music)…MURDER?

We all probably know someone who got addicted to the Sims games. And remember that South Park episode when the boys spent weeks obsessing over World of Warcraft? Multiplayer games like WoW and Second Life, in which participants create characters and send them off on long-running adventures against other people in real time, are massively popular, both here and in Japan.

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Now a woman from Sapporo is accused of “killing” her cyber-husband in the game Maplestory after he “divorced” her online. How did she commit the crime? By logging in illegally as him and deleting his avatar!

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According to BBC News, “If charged with the offenses, and convicted, she faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.” That seems a bit harsh to me. I wonder if her lawyer can argue that it was a crime of passion, unlikely to be repeated?

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People playing Maplestory, a Korean game that has spread in popularity throughout East Asia, normally concern themselves with fighting monsters, but some enjoy virtual social activities, marriage and domestic bliss (or agony). Curious about the game? It’s free to download and use, and comes in nine languages.

Just don’t fall in love…

Sarah S.

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