DayBreaks for 5/29/20: Flight from Reality
From the DayBreaks archive, May 2010:
Seoul, South Korea (CNN) – “Police have arrested a South Korean couple whose toddler starved to death while they were raising a virtual child online, authorities said. The couple fed their 3-month-old daughter once a day between marathon stretches in a local Internet cafe, where they were raising a virtual child in the fantasy role-playing game Prius Online, police told local reporters Friday.
“Prius Online is a 3-D game in which players nurture an online companion, Anima, a young girl with mysterious powers who grows and increases her skills as the game progresses.
“Police have not identified the 41-year-old father and 25-year-old mother, who lived in Suwon, a suburb south of Seoul. But the father apologized, speaking to reporters. “I wish that she hadn’t got sick and that she will live well in heaven forever. And as the father, I am sorry,” he said. The baby reportedly died five months ago.
“South Korea has one of the world’s fastest broadband networks. Seoul has won international awards for e-governance. Online gaming teams are sponsored by major conglomerates and 24-hour, high-speed Internet cafes, known as PC Bangs, dot every urban neighborhood. Police said the couple had lost their jobs and used the game as an escape from reality, especially after the birth of their premature baby. “They instead played an online game in which they raised a virtual character so as to escape from reality, which led to the death of their real baby,” Chung Jin-won, a police officer in Suwon, told Yonhap News Agency.
“South Korea remains a very conservative society so people who fall outside the norm can come under severe stress and pressure,” said Michael Breen, the Seoul-based author of “The Koreans.”
“The Internet has provided such people with a paradise to escape to and simply get lost in.” – Andrew Salmon, CNN, 3/7/10
This is one of the saddest stories I’ve read in a long time. Any time a child (or person) dies from needless starvation it makes me deeply disturbed. And it happened because the parents were using a silly game “as an escape from reality.” Instead of raising their real live offspring, they devoted their time and energy to the care and feeding of a virtual character.
We can easily be distracted into spending our energies and attention on foolish things – things which are not real, things which will never happen, imaginary and pretend things, while letting our life with God and our relationship with Him and those made in His image starve for the attention that they rightfully deserve. There is no shortage of things which will call for our attention. The enemy is an expert at distraction. Don’t let your relationship with your Father die for lack of attention. Don’t let your relationships with others die as you try to flee reality into a make-believe world.
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. – Colossians 3:1-2
PRAYER: Father, keep our hearts and minds focused on You and on those You love. Keep us from the deception of Satan. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>