Documentary about game addiction premiers at Sundance Film Festival

Love Child explores the issue of online game addiction in South Korea.

Love Child, a new documentary about online game addiction in South Korea, has premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

According to the festival's official website, the documentary explores the adverse affects of South Korea's fast and affordable internet infrastructure through the story of a couple whose three-month-old daughter died of malnutrition while they were playing the massively multiplayer online game, Prius Online. The Korean MMO's name was later changed to Arcane Saga, and was finally shut down in December 2013.

The story wasn't reported on much in the United States since it broke in 2010, but the couple received a reduced sentence after the court recognized their addiction as a mental disorder.

The filmmakers talked to game developers, the police detective assigned to the case, the lawyer, 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."

Veatch's previous documentary ME @ THE ZOO_, told the story of Chris Crocker, who uploaded the viral “Leave Britney Alone!” video to YouTube.

You can find out more about the movie on its official website, and watch the trailer on YouTube.

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emanuelmaiberg

Emanuel Maiberg

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer in search of the Citizen Kane of burritos.
112 comments
Takeno456
Takeno456

The game addiction thing could be an interesting documentary but my real question is why the heck did this guy make a previous movie about Chris Crocker?? What is there to really say about that?

meatz666
meatz666

Cool, it's very good to have documentaries about this.

Not forgetting that video game addiction is not a disease per say, but it's in the same league of compulsive behavior, like gambling, eating chocolate, watching TV, etc.

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

Now that I've thought about this matter more I've heard of a lot of people developing unhealthy addictions to mmo gaming. Some people spend every minute they can on it, and it leads to obesity, and real world social problems. Not saying this is everyone's case, but I even remember Danny doing an video where he reflected on an addiction to wow, where he gained a ton of weight and saw little of his friends. My own sister had a problem with lord of the rings online for years, she still had a job and social life, but spent way too much time on it in my opinion.

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

I think just owning all the games I want is enough to satiate me. Like those people who say, when they try to quit smoking, that just having a full pack of cigarettes in their pocket - that they didn't open - helped them satisfy their craving or whatever because they knew that, if they wanted to, they could do it.

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

That's bullshit. Sorry but game addiction isn't a mental disorder that deserves special treatment. It's a behavioral malfunction the same as people who get addicted to the behavior of smoking weed or doing other drugs that aren't chemically addictive - they don't deserve mercy.

ANUBISZER0
ANUBISZER0

I've been gaming since my fifth birthday and I just turned 26 a little while ago, I'm not addicted. Now if you'll excuse me I'm jonesing for some play some gam..... Drugs.

obsequies
obsequies

some people obviously haven't smoked crack...*shakes head*

Hellbishop
Hellbishop

Looks like an interesting movie promoting the life positives of gaming while putting it out there the dangers in a productive manner.

marcusfeelius1
marcusfeelius1

Kinda ridiculous, I love games, and it's a major activity for me, but I know that people have suggested that Im addicted to it. Gaming is something I fill my spare hours with, isntead of watching some retarded tv show I run and go play a few maps of BF4, if im trapped at home during a snow storm often times Ill spend a couple hours playing Borderlands 2 with some friends. Gaming is just another activity, it's no different from partying, getting drunk, or watching TV. I mean, come on, how many of us would let our child starve just to play games. A very, very small minority. Gamers love games, but I don't think many of us would put games over more important thing.

Anigmar
Anigmar

Addictions are bad, no matter what causes them but this documentary sounds so one-sided it's ridiculous. I guess it's easier to get publicity on a game addiction documentary than making one about drugs, way safer too. Maybe next time the guy could go to North Korea and make one about human rights, although that would take balls.

MapleLeafKush
MapleLeafKush

I'm pretty sure I'm addicted to, if I could play video games every day for 10 hours a day I would, but unfortunately reality exists and I cant do that... Getting life trophies/achievements is better then getting digital trophies/achievements... If video games "get in the way," of your life progressing, then you have a problem

LittleMac19
LittleMac19

Been trying to cut back myself. I quit TF2 in November last year (after crossing the 1500 hour mark) and I'm just now starting to get over it.

Warhawk613
Warhawk613

Why does this sound one sided to me?

deadpen
deadpen

Game Addiction, keeping the weaker minded population from reproducing since 1985

CUDGEdave
CUDGEdave

That tunnel looks like a far out "trip" trippy!!

Mr_Big_Boss
Mr_Big_Boss

Yesterday while playing an online multiplayer, I could hear a baby crying in the background. The dumb ass guy said "Why do you keep crying?"


How about you stop playing the game and focus on the baby, it won't take care of itself.

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

You heard it people, mmo's kill, and you'll go to prison. Seriously though that is truly sad, I've heard of such things happening to drug addicts, but I've never heard of someone being that badly addicted to gaming before.

El_Zaggy
El_Zaggy

Another documentary demonizing video games, nothing new there, Of course tv addiction is a lot worse and a lot more important but who cares. Lets spend money filming addicted trashy gamers and lets view games as evil, once again. Lets forget that the majority of gamers arent addicted. If we were in the 40ies-50ies, this documentary would have been about people who are addicted to rock and roll and how it destroy their life or how Elvis singing and dancing is the devil. I understand that people with no talents prefer to show bad things about stuffs but how about making positive documentaries instead ? There is always 2 sides on a coin but stupid documentaries maker are too dumb to show the 2 sides, they always prefer the bad side. Dont blame bad parenting on games too. Its not the game's fault if some people are dumb.

Xatsuna
Xatsuna

I blame moba. Just as addicting as MMO

ace-meza
ace-meza

EDDIE is on vacation huh ?!

silversix_
silversix_

I'm addicted to the Souls series. Will somebody make a movie or at least a documentary of me playing the SHIT OUTTA Dark Souls 2?

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

If foreign press could ever gain access to North Korea without having guards and a tour itinerary attached to their trip. I'm sure someone would have done that.

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

@MapleLeafKush I wouldn't. I physically can't play video games for 10 hours a day. It's way too much sitting down. I sit for 9 hours a day at work on weekdays and then go home and sit down for the rest of the day pretty much and the only reason I can handle doing the same thing at work is because I get paid. Even the most amazing game wouldn't be able to keep me playing it for 10 hours straight (obviously there are exceptions, I did play AC4 for 12 hours straight before but it's rare.)

scarred_fox
scarred_fox

@MapleLeafKush MMO's can get pretty bad if you can't moderate. I work abroad as a contractor (non-party region) with no supervision. as long as my equipment works and no one calls me, I can do as I please. Was playing SWTOR since launch and as my first MMO I was hooked. Began getting food to go from cafeteria, work ethics began to decline and stayed up late. needless to say there was a problem even though I used the excuse, "I'm not in the states" as an alibi.


Had to uninstall in order to cut ties. small withdrawals due to leaving the people I played with but all that negative stuff is behind. just sticking to single players and FPS shooters. At least those I can control and have an end story ^^

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

If someone paid me to play games all day, I'd take that over my job. If I had unlimited funds and time, I'd travel the world on my motorcycle and forget video games even exist.

bdiddytampa
bdiddytampa

@LittleMac19 My buddy had to quit TF2 as well, somewhere north of 2500 hours I think, the most time I've spent on one game that has tracked the time I played was just over 200 hours..

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

@Mr_Big_Boss Was it the last of us? I was playing TLOU (yes everyone proceed to wail on me because you all know I don't care for the game) For a few hours with my friend in Frankfurt and there was this baby just like constantly on the mic. Maybe not crying though.

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

I weep for future generations when ours refuses to grow the f**k up. I'm not saying parents can't game, but the kids come before everything else in your life if you choose to have them.

Hellbishop
Hellbishop

@canuckbiker Its more the addiction effect then the game. Same maladaptive behavior will happen with any addiction whether its drugs, drink, sex, religion :D

AwkwardTurtle42
AwkwardTurtle42

@El_ZaggyEven if it doesn't demonise games it could still be taken out of context and made to look bad. The Daily Mail and Fox News do this all the time. Just a shame that some people out there will likely try to find a way to use this against video games as a whole. Movies or TV shows might be criticised individually for any number of reasons but never TV or movies as a whole. This shouldn't be acceptable with video games either.

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

I'm certain their not trying to portray every gamer as an addict. It's important to learn about extreme behaviours to better prevent them and help those affected.

Anigmar
Anigmar

@canuckbikerEven with that you have a documentary. I've watched two of those. They were scary and funny. The amount of fantasy tales and crap they have to believe is ridiculous.

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

I think it's fine if you didn't like TLOU. At least you played it before making up your mind, which is more than I can say for some others that bash the game all the time.

Kungfu_Kenobi
Kungfu_Kenobi

@AwkwardTurtle42

Then let them criticize. Let them take this documentary out of context, and as usual we'll expose them. Getting defensive about the whole matter accomplishes only in making all gamers look like we have something to hide. The fact is gaming is more than a harmless pastime for many, and we must be responsible enough, honest enough, and brave enough to shine a light on our behavior. If we don't examine stories of people who have clearly crossed the line, how can we ever know where that line really is?

zintarr
zintarr

@canuckbiker You wont even say it! Mental illness, crazy people those that need the padded cell.

silversix_
silversix_

@noandno@silversix_ A child? My right hand can't get pregnant or i'd have so many kids that sacrificing one wouldn't even be noticeable.

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

Their is an interesting documentary show called vice on hbo. They did an episode where they took the Harlem globetrotters and Denis Rodmen to North Korea. Apparently Kim jong-un is a fan of 90' basketball. It's crazy how they worship him like a god there. You should check it out if you're interested.

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

Wow that is an insufferably cruel statement, and wrong on so many levels. Addiction and mental illness are two different things. Obviously certain addictions like narcotics can lead to mental illness, but that's the effect not the cause. It's a strange world and people can be addicted to many things. Mental illness however is usually a hereditary trait and can be treated well with the right amount of drugs and or therapy. No one asks for a mental illness problem, and people like you are why they feel like they should be ashamed of it, when people like you should be ashamed of their ignorance.

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

Technically your sacrificing millions of potential children when you have your alone time.