[LINK] Virtual Murder, Real Arrest

Richard Chirgwin rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Sat Oct 25 10:22:16 EST 2008

Taking the contrary position;
- the media's angle on this and similar stories is drivel.
- people are very stupid when they take the online game as equivalent
somehow to the offline life.
- however, getting into someone's computer is illegal. Regardless of
motive, should an individual's computer be less protected from intrusion
than a companies' or a government's?

If we consider the man's action as cyber-bullying, then it may be
considered a mitigating circumstance in consideration of sentence...


Roger Clarke wrote:
> [Comment at end]
> Woman accused of murdering 'virtual' husband after divorce
> The Australian, and everyone else
> By staff writers | October 24, 2008
> http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24544795-12377,00.html
> 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.]

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