Video game addiction could be a growing concern for many parents whose teens spend most of their time indoors with their eyes glued to the TV screen and their hands pressing the controllers. However, in a special case, a South Korean dad’s addiction to online games led to the death of his 2-year-old son who starved to death for days on end. The 22-year-old father, whose surname is Chung, was arrested after South Korean police found footage of Chung dumping the body of his son in a garden a mile away from his house.
“The case received extensive media coverage, with TV stations airing CCTV footage of Chung in the elevator of his apartment block, nonchalantly checking his hair in the mirror with one hand while holding a trash bag allegedly containing his dead son in the other,” Yahoo! News reported. In February, the boy’s mother started to work in factory far from the city, leaving her unemployed husband — who has a criminal record — to care for their child. Chung would spend most of his time in Internet cafes and would visit home every two or three days to feed the son.
Chung’s case is one of many in South Korea where parliament is considering a bill to classify the activity as addicting as drugs, gambling, and alcohol, The Guardian reported. Online addiction is considered a serious problem in the country, and it’s known to be one of the world’s most “wired nations” with a booming game industry. In a national survey conducted by the Science Ministry in 2013, seven percent of South Korea’s 50 million population were considered to be at “high risk” of becoming addicted to Internet use, while the figure rose to 12 percent among teenagers.