A documentary about the ill effects of online game addiction in South Korea made its debut this weekend at the Sundance Film Festival. According to the festival's official website (as reported on by GameSpot), the documentary explores South Korea's online gaming culture as it follows the story of a couple whose three-month-old daughter died of malnutrition while they were allegedly playing the massively multiplayer online game, Prius Online. The game's name was later changed to Arcane Saga, and finally shut down in December 2013.
The couple received a reduced sentence in 2010 after a South Korean court recognized that their online gaming "addiction" was a mental disorder. In the film, filmmakers discuss addiction with the game's developers, a police detective assigned to the case, the lawyer for the couple, and the family.
"Korea has had high speed Internet for much longer than we have in the States," director Valerie Veatch said in an interview with Indiewire. "They have a very sophisticated gaming industry and culture. This story was completely different [than] it was played in the international news media. It was fear that [drove] these news stories."
It should be noted that online gaming addiction is not recognized by the international mental health medical professional organizations as a real addiction, nor is Internet addiction.