It’s no secret that video games can be addictive. But deadly? In 2010 in South Korea, a couple stood trial for manslaughter after their infant daughter died — allegedly due to her parents’ negligence. Mom and dad were playing an online fantasy game to the point of total obsession. In Valerie Veatch’s documentary Love Child, she explores the world of online gaming and how South Korean authorities are attempting to monitor the growing problem, which they see as a major social menace.
“The ruling in the trial shows how increasingly there is no distinct difference between virtual experiences and experiences to be had in the real world. We are living in a blended reality,” Veatch, who directed and produced the film, told EW in an email. Veatch’s last film Me @ The Zoo premiered on HBO as part of the summer documentary series on the premium cable network in 2012.
While Love Child closely examines one case in South Korea, it also attempts to comment on the global growth of online gaming, the economic impact of the industry, particularly in places where it’s very popular like South Korea, and how everyone is affected by the addictive nature of new technologies.
Love Child will debut at Sundance and premieres on HBO later this year.