Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Going a bit too far with online entertainment

I thought this was a joke when I first read it, but it's actually true. This is from a report published last week by Sky News:

A woman is divorcing her husband after she caught him cheating on her in a 3D virtual world.

Amy Taylor, 28, cited unreasonable behaviour in the court papers, describing how their three-year marriage came to an end when she twice walked in on her husband pretending to have sex in an online game.

Her estranged husband is now engaged to one of the women he had an 'affair' with on Second Life - even though they have never actually met in real life.

Amy told Sky News Online how she thought she had found the love of her life when she met David Pollard in an internet chatroom in May 2003.

They swapped photos online, and after six months of emails and phone calls, she moved from London into his seaside flat in Cornwall.

The couple spent hours having fun together in Second Life - her avatar, or alter ego, in the 3D virtual world was Laura Skye, and his Dave Barmy.

But her dreams were shattered three months later when she went for an afternoon nap and woke to find the jobless 40-year-old having sex with an escort girl in the game.

"I went mad - I was so hurt. I just couldn't believe what he'd done," Amy said.

"I looked at the computer screen and could see his character having sex with a female character. It's cheating as far as I'm concerned.

"But he didn't see it as a problem, and couldn't see why I was so upset. He said I was just making a big fuss, and tried to make out it was my fault for not giving him enough attention."

She added: "We then made it up and he promised he would never do anything to hurt me again, and would never cheat on me again."

The couple got hitched at a registry office in St. Austell in July 2005 - and even marked the occasion by holding a virtual wedding in Second Life.

They moved to a flat in Newquay, and carried on their virtual lives in the online world, but Amy knew something was wrong.

"I still had my suspicions, but couldn't put my finger on it," she said. "He never did anything in real life, but I had my suspicions about what he was doing in Second Life."

And then the bombshell came in April this year, when she found him in a compromising position with his avatar.

"I caught him cuddling a woman on a sofa in the game. It looked really affectionate," she said. "He turned off the computer monitor, and I turned it back on and demanded to look at his chat history.

"But he turned off the computer so the history was all deleted - and I ended up going off to his Mum and Dad's in floods of tears."

She added: "He confessed he'd been talking to this woman player in America for one or two weeks, and said our marriage was over and he didn't love me anymore, and we should never have got married."

The next day Amy went to a solicitor to file for a divorce, which is due to be finalised next week.

"The solicitor wasn't at all surprised - she said it was her second divorce case involving Second Life that week," she added.

Amy says she was down in the dumps for a while - but now has a new man in her life, who she met while playing the internet fantasy role-playing game World Of Warcraft.
(End quote)

Good grief, how very very sad. You couldn't make it up and be taken seriously, could you? Whatever next - young men standing trial for car theft and gun crime because they play Grand Theft Auto? And why on earth does anyone "play" this Second Life rubbish anyway? Wouldn't it be better for everyone concerned if they put all that time and effort into their First Lives? Oh dear.

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