[LINK] Virtual Murder, Real Arrest

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Sat Oct 25 08:52:14 EST 2008

[Comment at end]

Woman accused of murdering 'virtual' husband after divorce
The Australian, and everyone else
By staff writers | October 24, 2008

A JAPANESE piano teacher has been arrested on suspicion of killing 
her "virtual husband" after becoming enraged that he suddenly 
divorced her in an online game.

The 43-year-old woman allegedly hacked into a man's computer and 
killed off his avatar in the popular interactive game Maple Story, 
the Associated Press reported.

The woman, who is in custody on suspicion of illegally accessing a 
computer and manipulating electronic data, allegedly used the man's 
ID and password to log on and carry out the virtual murder in May, 
said a police official in the northern city of Sapporo, according to 
the AP.

"I was suddenly divorced, without a word of warning. That made me so 
angry," the police official quoted the woman as telling investigators.

The man behind the woman's online husband, a 33-year-old office 
worker, complained to police when he discovered that his online 
avatar was dead.

The woman was arrested on Wednesday, police said.

She had not yet been charged but if convicted could face up to five 
years in prison or a fine of up to $5000 ($7400).

Maple Story players create and manipulate avatars that represent 
themselves in relationships, social activities and fighting monsters 
and other obstacles.

[The world's gone mad.  At least people playing 'popular interactive 
games' are harmless.  But when the State intrudes into spats like 
this, on the pretext that "illegally accessing a computer and 
manipulating electronic data" is an indictable offence, we really are 
collectively losing our grip on reality.]

Roger Clarke                  http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
                    Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au                http://www.xamax.com.au/

Visiting Professor in Info Science & Eng  Australian National University
Visiting Professor in the eCommerce Program      University of Hong Kong
Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre      Uni of NSW

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