Kim Yoo-chul, 41, and his partner Choi Mi-sun, 25 (not in the photo), fed their three-month-old baby only on visits home between 12-hour sessions at a neighbourhood internet cafe, where they were raising an avatar daughter in a Second-Life-style game called Prius online, police said.
Leaving their real daughter at their home in a suburb of Seoul to fend for herself, the pair, who were unemployed, spent hours role-playing in the virtual reality game, which allows users to choose a career and friends, granting them offspring as a reward for passing a certain level.
The pair became obsessed with nurturing their virtual daughter, called Anima, but neglected their real daughter, who was not named.
Eventually, the couple returned home after one 12-hour session in September to find the child dead and called police. The pair were arrested on Friday after an autopsy showed that the baby died from prolonged malnutrition. (source)