Friday, October 24, 2008

Japanese woman held following "Virtual Murder"

People spending way too much time on Internet leading their lives virtually need to be cautious of getting addicted and connected with their virtual self. A 43-year-old Japanese woman has been arrested in association with virtual murder of her virtual husband - an act of rage, of course!

In the online game “Maple Story”, a woman got so furious after receiving unexpected divorce that she murdered her husband. OF course, all this happened in the virtual world.

She has been arrested not for the “virtual murder” for the suspicion of hacking into the account of her virtual husband and killing his avatar. But make no mistake, this is serious stuff. If found guilty, she could face upto 5 years in prison and $5000 in fine.

MapleStory is a free-of-charge, 2D, side-scrolling massively multiplayer online role-playing game developed by the South Korean company Wizet. Several versions of the game are available for specific countries or regions, and each is published by various companies such as Wizet and Nexon. Although playing the game is free, character appearances and gameplay enhancements can be purchased from the “Cash Shop” using real money. MapleStory has a combined total of over 50 million subscriber accounts in all of its versions.MapleStory North America (Global), for players mainly in North America and outside of East Asia, Southeast Asia and Europe, has over three million players.

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

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

In Tokyo, police arrested a 16-year-old boy on charges of swindling virtual currency worth $360,000 in an interactive role playing game by manipulating another player's portfolio using a stolen ID and password.

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.

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