back to article Woman cuffed for deleting virtual husband

A 43-year-old Japanese woman has been jailed for "killing" her virtual husband to revenge an unexpected in-game divorce. The unhappy couple's characters had been "married" in the side-scrolling Korean massive multiplayer game, MapleStory. Not in real life, mind you, just within the game. But e-vows were too soon discarded, …


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  1. Simpson


    HA HA Ha Ha, ha.

    Hopefully, that's what the judge says.

    Then throws the prosecutor and arresting officer in jail for several days.

  2. yeah, right.


    If convicted (and in Japan convictions rates are very high thanks in no small part to the use of various forms of torture to extract confessions, which are then considered to be irrefutable evidence) are they going to put her in a virtual prison, with virtual counselling? Inquiring minds need to know.

  3. Steve Roper

    I should bloody well hope so

    If some asshat hacked into my World of Warcraft account and deleted my characters (some of which I've put many months of work into) I would definitely want to see the bastards banged up. 5 years is a fair punishment, although I'd personally rather they saw 50!

  4. Anonymous Coward

    More stupid games

    When will people learn that crime never pays (unless you're upper management in a bank or investment firm).

  5. Anonymous Coward

    But who gets the kids?

    Great, now in addition to stories of couples fighting over the dog we will now get virtual custody battles of kids, pets, furniture.

  6. Alan Hargreaves
    Paris Hilton

    you have got to be joking

    He *SHARED* his password???

    Pretty much ANY gaming or social site I have ever seen has in it's terms and conditions that this is something you don't do. So for starters he is in breach of his terms and conditions right there.

    If she legitimately had his password, then how is it an unauthorised access?

    Even Paris knows not to share passwords.

  7. Simon
    Paris Hilton

    I don't see how this could stand up in court.

    You give out your password, you are essentially giving co-ownership. That person can play your characters, and modify your characters, and do whatever they want... so why shouldn't that be extended to deleting them?

    I can understand if she hacked his account, but he GAVE her the password. I think they should ask him why he did that - the answer has to be to share accounts.

    He got sharing and everything that came with it.

    This is why you should never ever share accounts with anyone. I've been running a mud for over ten years and I have seen hundreds of incidents where one sharer decided to strip an account dry, even between married couples during stressful times in their relationship. You share, too bad is the policy a lot of MMORPGs have.

    Paris because she made the same mistake with her videos.

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Moss Icely Spaceport

    There is no hope...

    ....for the human race.

  10. Josh


    A chick playing an MMO? My world's been turned upside down...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    trial and punish her in the maplestory

    They married in the game they divorced in the game and his character in the game had been killed, so her character should get a death sentence or a long prison term.

    Anyway he should not had given his password anybody.

  12. 49125

    5 years..

    Thats what you get for messing with a mans bits.

  13. Mike Flugennock
    Paris Hilton


    Oh, sweet friggin' Jayzus.

    Just when I thought Americans were the nuttiest, most fucked-up people on the planet -- here come the goddamn' Japanese again.

    Too bad nobody over there's designed a male version of their "companion" lifelike robot. Coulda' saved that lady a world of hurt.

    Paris, for the sheer stupidity of it.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What's sadder - that she deleted the virtual husband's character, or that he reported that it was missing to the police?

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Hurray for the plod

    She'd probably get less punishment if she'd actually sought him out and killed him!

    I'd say this was worth a $20 fine and a caution - if that.

    Alien, because, though the Brits have had an alien imposed justice system for years, it's now spreading to Japan.

  16. Rich

    sounds daft but..

    I'd be furious if that happened to my MMORPG characters.

    Yeah it's just a game but unlike most games its a little more involving, lots of relationships are developed over time and lots of equipment / skills, which all take months of relentless grinding (usually) to get back.

  17. It wasnt me
    Thumb Down

    And there it is.

    Our descent into lunacy is complete. Ive never played one of these online games, so I feel like i'm watching strange events unfold in a goldfish bowl every time I see one of these stories. Are they really that captivating and important? Im starting to feel like I must be missing something, but the realy world is still great for me. I originally thought lonely people played these games to get away from the traumas of the real world, but now it seems there is murder, divorce and all that in the virtual world as well.

    Oh sod it. Get a life you nutjobs, or stop wasting oxygen that the rest of us could be breathing.

    Losers. Massive losers.

  18. Ralph B


    I think all parties, cops included, need to spend some quality time in the Total Perspective Vortex.

    I mean, it's only an f-ing game, innit.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.

    Anybody fancy a nice game of chess?

  20. Alan Fisher

    World gone mad!!

    Surely this can't possibly be real???? What the heck is going on and, more importantly, how low must the crime rate in this area be if the police can spend time and resources on something so utterly unimportant? Up to 5 years for this? I shudder to think what real murderers get in that country!!

  21. dervheid

    And the world just keeps getting...

    weirder and weirder.

    Need a "WTF?" icon, please.

  22. James O'Brien
    Paris Hilton


    Virtual Priest says: "I now pronounce you man and wife"

    Virtula Priest says: "What you just killed your husband?"

    Virtual Priest says: "OFFICER ARREST HER"

    Virtual Cop says: "Ma'am your coming with me. Your under the arrest for....umm say WHAT??"

    Just me or is he virtual world starting to become more and more real for some then the real world is?

    /Dumb ass broad. . .Point made

  23. Aortic Aneurysm


    I have ZERO sympathy for him, thats what you can expect to happen to you, when you go about giving out your password to people you have never met.

    It's not the womans fault.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    "She hasn't yet been formally charged, but AP reports she could face a prison term of up to five years in prison or a fine of $5,000 (£3,091) if convicted. ®"

    To be served "virtually" of course...

  25. Alfazed
    Dead Vulture

    Virtual stupidity

    Can she pay the fine with virtual money and have her on-line identity do the bird ?


  26. Sceptical Bastard


    You couldn't make it up! This makes Sadville look like real life.

    I loved this bit: "I was suddenly divorced, without a word of warning. That made me so angry." Well, it would, dear - it would. Now take your medication.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    only in Japan

    You have organised crime running free and police actually telling you that they don't want to get involved if you have a problem with the Yakuza (first hand experience) but they have time to waste on this kind of stuff.

    Of course arresting a 33 year old women is a lot less dangerous than investigating a yakuza.

    anonymous for obvious reasons

  28. Michael Habel Silver badge
    Dead Vulture

    Hell hath no fury...

    like a Woman spurned! >:-)

    Still seems a bit fecked'up to toss her in the slammer though when we still have other Hackers on the loose (causing more unrest) sniffing 'round our Politicians dirty knickers though.

    I don't know how to close this segment so I'll just pay my final respects to the dearly departed...

  29. Dave
    Paris Hilton

    I'm confused

    Can somebody explain how killing somebody virtually is almost the same as bumping them off in real life?

  30. GBW

    Ah, ye olde Japan is wacked out ploy

    Having read the story in the Japanese papers, it should be stated that she's not being arrested for deleting the character, but for illegally accessing the guy's account.

    It's unlikely she'll see time, though because the idiot voluntarily gave her his login info and then brilliantly neglected to change it after the "divorce". Real bright guy, that.

  31. Richard


    In my opinion she should go down for murder as this character was obviously the only life this man had!!

  32. Nick

    RM -R *

    So, he willingly gave her his username and password, and now it's a crime for her to delete some files for him?

    Some people really need a life!

  33. RainForestGuppy


    A plea to all people who get imersed in virtual worlds.

    Please please please, open your front door and step outside. Yes, there is financial meltdown, injustice, cruelty, war and diesease out there, but just look beyond these.

    See the delicate majesty of sunlight glinting on raindrops caught on a spider web, or the haunting beauty of early morning mist rolling across a field.

    This world is a devistastingly beautiful place, get out there and enjoy it, don't waste your life in some electronic hell.

    OK Friday morning philosphy over with.

  34. Alex

    "Stop that! It's far too silly..!"

    ...'nuff said really..

    Mine's the one with the Monty Python script in the pocket..

  35. Pete

    I'll keep my first life...


    What a joke - Shouldn't she be virtually arrested if at all?

    Standard security policies in companies over here are that you don't, under any circumstances, share your credentials/passwords.

    Idiots, the pair of them. Chuck in the rest of these people who live in a second world instead of just having a non-committal game now and then and you have the new breed of geeks and freaks.


  36. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Oh come on...

    First, if he gave her his password I don't think she should be charged with anything. The act clearly implies that he is giving her access to his account - he has to accept the consequences of that.

    Second, and admittedly based on my first point, why are law enforcement agencies getting involved in this crap. Just glad it isn't happening in the UK, at least it isn't my taxes being burned up over this trivial, haha, affair.

    Paris. She can rub me out anytime ;-)))

  37. Anonymous Coward

    He was lucky.......

    As a real wife would of deleted the contents of his bank balance. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned and all that, Anyway he was the stupid one to have given out his username and password so what did he expect to happen!


    Pass me coat luv I am heading to the boozer.

  38. Martin Milan
    Paris Hilton

    I'm sorry, but like, WTF?

    So she didn't hack the system at all then, she just used the password that this guy gave her, presumably so that she could access his account at her convenience without bothering him first. If she used her new found influence over virtual hubby's mindset to have him, oh, I dunno - kill himself, the surely that's all fine and dandy...

    It's a virtual game dear boy, and if you give someone control of your account, then unpredictabe things might happen - particularly when you introduce a recently ditched and somewhat miffed e-wifey into the equation. If you divorced in real life, you'd want her keys to your home back, wouldn't you? Same thing here - should have changed his password...

    And reporting this to the police? I mean, WHY? They should both be taken out back, a bit of a slapping administered, and advised to grow up and get a life...

    Nice to see that their plod took the time to investigate this though - contrasts rather with the City Of London police's stance on Phorm, doesn't it?


    Paris, coz she's been painfully split a time or two herself...

  39. michael

    ok that is it

    I am leaving the planet at the first opertuinity

  40. Ash
    Thumb Down

    What's happening?

    Deletion of characters because of hurt feelings?

    Punched, kicked, threatened with a knife for a face mask in Runescape?

    Maybe games are bad for us...

    Or maybe some people need sterilising.

  41. Kevsy

    A new genre

    ....virtual Film Noir! All we need now are monochrome browsers.

    Mine's the Bogart-style trenchcoat...

  42. Steven Foster


    It's a game. He gave out his password. Ridiculously disproportionate "punishment".

    That is all.

  43. Dazed and Confused

    IT's game for F***** sake

    Haven't the police got anything better to do with their time?

    Over here she probably wouldn't get 5 years for breaking in to his house, stealing everything and trashing the whole join. What's so bad about using his account which he gave her access too.

    Surely the most she should be punished with is paying some operator at the games company for a couple of minutes to restore the stupid blokes account.

  44. Dapprman

    ahem ..

    All your virtual partners are belongs to us

    Now where's my coat

  45. Bad Beaver

    So dude...

    ... freely give your love away, but never your passkey.


  46. TeeCee Gold badge

    @Alan Fisher

    "Surely this can't possibly be real????"

    I think we have a Rumsfeld problem here that needs clarification. We have real reals. That's things that really happen in the real world. We have unreal reals. That's unreal things that happen in the real world. We have real unreals. That's things that really happen in the unreal world. Finally we have unreal unreals. That's unreal things that happen in the unreal world.

    I think that this is a classic example of an unreal unreal causing a real unreal and having an outcome of an unreal real.

    Does it make sense now?

    I'd ask for my coat, but I now not only don't know where I left it but I'm not sure if I ever really had one in the first place.

  47. Fred

    I don't need no steenking title

    I bet she wishes she had killed him for real now.

  48. Bo Pedersen
    Thumb Up

    how many years for....

    a decent round of brutal online killing in Team Fortress 2? :)

  49. Alan Swartz

    He should have had the locks changed.

    How hard would it have been to change his password?

  50. Anonymous Coward

    "He went to the police when he realised his character was missing."

    Let me put this into perspective:

    "Err hello officer, yeah I was playing Jet Set Willy on my ZX Spectrum and this nasty guys came out of nowhere and took all my lives I want them called to book, right now!"

    Bunch of losers, they should all be locked up for the sanity of everyone else!

  51. FreeTard
    Thumb Down

    Sad bastards

    It's only a bloody game. How can you murder someone that can be restored from backups?

    Very very sad.

  52. Wize

    And to think that just the other day...

    ...there was a lawyer trying to get a theft (at real knifepoint) of a virtual item dismissed as the item did not exist.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To think people like this are allowed on the street

    It should be obvious how removed from reality gamers can be. What will this whacko do next?

  54. g00p
    IT Angle

    Hang on a minute...

    ..if this were a case against someone who'd (for example) gained access to sensitive data locally, or retreived data etc etc - the prosecution would be laughed out of court because they had given the defendant access information freely and willingly

    Why doesn't that apply here?

    IT with a question mark because "nobody understands" *sniff sniff*

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hacking ?

    "If some asshat hacked into my World of Warcraft account..."

    How is using the password and username she was GIVEN counted as hacking exactly ?

  56. Rob

    And so it begins

    This seems to be another case of technology surpassing law. I have a number of characters I've created (note the word created) and I pay to futher their develop on a monthly basis. These are my property, how they look and what they have is down to the time, money and effort I have dedicated to this hobby. If someone hacked into my account (even after I had taken every measure to make sure it was secure) then I would expect the company who runs it to step in and resolve the issue, if they couldn't I would consider whether I could take it further.

    In reality it probably wouldn't get anywhere with our fuzz as they don't undertand that these virtual figures are creative property that has had in some/most cases money invested in them.

    I agree with previous posters though, you give your password away and your case is severally weakened. Whether the sentence is fair for the crime is down to the Japanese justice system, if 5yrs is what they usually give to cases of damage to property which is all they could possibly boil it down to.

    I think there will be a growing increase in these stories, hence why the law needs to catch up with these issues.

  57. Frank Bough
    Thumb Down

    Next Up...

    Man cheats at Monopoly, fuckwit calls police. Jesus H Corbett.

  58. Anonymous Coward

    Ever heard of backups?

    Nothing has been lost, surely?

  59. Daniel Silver badge



  60. Daniel Garcia
    Thumb Down

    Another case of police's statistical priority

    are not real crimes in japan that they can spend so much police effort on chasing such ridiculus virtual crimes?

    alhough i can see the need to protect virtual property, we talking of a case that the password was given FREELY, probably something agaisnt the EULA of the game.

  61. Anonymous Coward

    Will someone

    please think of the (virtual) Children........

  62. david

    The lesson...

    Both parties in soundproof room.

    "This is real" Hit them with baseball bat

    "This is not real" Show them a virtual person being hit with a virtual baseball bat

    Repeat until dead or can tell the difference...

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    And this is why..

    ..good RPGers learn how to properly keep IC stuff IC and OOC stuff OOC.

    To the 'get a life', 'just a game' and 'WTF' brigade; Do you really advocate a legal system where the decision whether or not to arrest, investigate, prosecute and punish comes down to "Do we approve of the victim's hobby?".

    Feel free to substitute 'hobby' for 'religeon', 'race', 'gender', 'age' or any other discriminatory attribute.

    A fair legal system has to avoid bias based on such prejudices and concentrate on whether or not a crime has been committed, whether it can be proven and how it should be punished.

    In this case the questions are (roughly, IANAL) 'did she illegally access a computer system with malicious intent?' and 'did she alter computer data with malicious intent'. If the answer to these is proven to be 'yes' the next question will be 'how much harm did she do and what is a proportionate punishment'. That last question, of course, is the trickiest to answer in an unbiased and fair fashion.

    Personally I'd go for making her pay for the time required for the game's admins to recover the guy's data from backup and restore his character to the game. Maybe add a month's subscription costs to compensate him for time wasted.

    Of course, after restoring the character data the game admin should lock the guy's account and block his IP address for breaking the game's T&Cs by sharing his password.

    And so justice would be served because the law has to be fair but game admins can be as BOFHish as they want :-)

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mike Flugennock

    Thanks for your confidence in the US . But don't worry , nothing like tis would ever happen in the UK. Nope Jacqui's data base would of prevented this from happing . Yep she would of be in the unstable scorned women column .

  65. Cristhian Mejia
    IT Angle

    Virtual Death Penalty

    Actually Japan has the death penalty, they still hang people there, so if convicted she might face the virtual gallows.

  66. Andus McCoatover


    ...she had no virtue.

    (Gorrit already)

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