Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

This World Means Virtually Nothing to Me; Do You Have to Be Single in Real Life to {Lsquo}marry' Online or Would That Be Virtual Polygamy? Don't Ask Me. I've Only Just Discovered That These Worlds Exist and It's Making My Head Spin

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

This World Means Virtually Nothing to Me; Do You Have to Be Single in Real Life to {Lsquo}marry' Online or Would That Be Virtual Polygamy? Don't Ask Me. I've Only Just Discovered That These Worlds Exist and It's Making My Head Spin

Article excerpt

Byline: TUESDAY Damian Bathersby

NOW I've heard just about everything.

Just when I thought the world couldn't get any more disturbing, a Japanese woman gets arrested for killing her "virtual husband" after he divorced her in an online game.

Seriously.

It seems there are computer games where everyone takes on different personas and lives in a parallel world.

Probably a lot cheaper than going to the pub on a Friday night but really!

It seems you can do all sorts of things in these parallel universes - hold down jobs, get married, have children, have an affair with your secretary, go to the pub on a Friday night (without leaving the comfort of your computer) - all the things you can do in the real world but minus the guilt.

But is it really guilt-free?

I mean, do the things which happen in an online game actually count in your real world?

Or is it a case of anything goes?

Sure, you won't have the Saturday morning hangover of a real night at the pub but is having an affair with a reality character wrong or harmless make-believe?

Do you have to be single in real life to get "married" online or would that be virtual polygamy?

Don't ask me. I've only just discovered these worlds exist and it's making my head spin.

Apparently, when this Japanese woman found out her online "husband" had divorced her, she hacked into his computer and killed his character.

Thankfully, there is still some sanity in the world and she has only been charged with illegally hacking into his computer.

For a minute there I thought she was going to be charged with virtual murder, which would have meant appearing in a virtual court and facing time in a virtual jail.

The world is seriously out of whack.

Could we end up with a situation where this woman has to spend time in a real jail in the real world, during which she will have to sit at her computer playing an online game where her character is spending virtual time in jail? …

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