Police have arrested a Korean couple for starving their three-month-old daughter to death while they devoted hours to playing a computer game that involved raising a virtual character of a young girl.
The 41-year-old man and 25-year-old woman, who met through a chat website, reportedly left their infant unattended while they went to internet cafes. They only occasionally dropped by to feed her powdered milk.
"The couple seemed to have lost their will to live a normal life because they didn't have jobs and gave birth to a premature baby," Chung Jin-Won, a police officer, told Yonhap. "They indulged themselves in the online game of raising a virtual character so as to escape from reality, which led to the death of their real baby."
Last September after a 12-hour gaming-session the couple came home in the morning to find their daughter dead. The baby's malnourished body aroused police suspicions of neglect that were was confirmed after an autopsy, The Guardian reports.
Korean couple was arrested in the city of Suweon, south of Seoul, earlier this week, five months after they reported the death of their baby.
An autopsy showed her death was caused by a long period of malnutrition. The couple had become obsessed with nurturing a virtual girl called Anima in the popular role-playing game Prius Online, police said on Friday.
The game enables players to interact with Anima and as they do so, help her to recover her lost memory and develop emotions, BBC News reports.