A new HBO documentary premieres tonight on HBO and HBO GO that examines video game and Internet addiction and their consequences. Love Child focuses on a South Korean couple that let their infant daughter starve to death while they played a video game for up to 12 hours per day. The pair managed to nurture an animated character in the game while letting their child die.
Video game addiction is a very serious matter that affects people in a variety of ways. The film discusses video game addiction from the worst possible vantage point. Obviously the death is an outlier case, but as you can see in the trailer below, the film does delve into video game addiction as a serious psychiatric issue.
In the trailer, a voiceover mentions emotional shutdown and withdrawal as two symptoms. There’s also a flurry of gaming devices displayed, including an iOS device.
Above is an NPR interview of Valerie Veatch, the producer and director of Love Child.As she explains in the interview, the husband only spent a year in jail and the mother didn’t spend any time in jail. Why? They used an unprecedented defense, claiming that they couldn’t tell the difference between the online world and the real world. The producer says that there was a similar case in the United States in 2013. A couple let their three-year-old die of starvation as they spent their days performing as DJ’s in Second Life, another virtual world.
Love Child is available on the HBO Go app now for those with active HBO cable and satellite subscriptions.