It was the first successful “internet addiction” manslaughter defense: An infant starved to death in South Korea, because her parents neglected her to play Prius Online at internet cafes. The fantasy multi-player game’s “rich and immersive emotional experiences” had more to offer. Valerie Veatch’s documentary Love Child 사이버 사랑 explores the increasingly immersive technological environments of South Korea — “the world’s most wired nation” — virtual, real, and more than real.
The film addresses the Kim Yoo-chul and Choi Mi-sun manslaughter case and examines “the way that South Korea’s place as the world leader of Internet infrastructure has adversely affected its communal society.” Love Child plays at Sundance this week, and is thematically linked to another film in their World Documentary program: Web Junkie, a profile on China’s teen internet-addict rehab centers. Web Junkie doesn’t seem quite so indicting of technology, looking at why Chinese teens “feel more connected to disassociated voices in cyberspace than to their families.”