Friday, October 24, 2008

JJNN Friday: Technology - 13

Welcome again to JJNN for Friday October 24th, 2008. Today we will be talking about what can happen when you divorce someone online.

Love comes in many forms. There is the love between parents and children, the love between siblings, the love that only lovers know, and of course there is the love that can be felt for people you meet online. This story has to do with that last kind of love. Actually, it is more about what happens when online love goes wrong.

In Japan there are a lot of online role playing games. One of the most popular ones is called Maple Story. The thing that makes it popular is the fact that you can play it for free. People from all ages and walks of life flock to play Maple Story. In the game you and your friends go out and try to defeat monsters. You can talk to people in the game and work together. The only problem is that some people get into the game too much and actually fall in love with the people on the other side of the character they are speaking with. Oh, by the way, you can see a picture of Maple Story below.

The news story that I want to talk about this time is what happens when love on the internet goes bad. Like any good love story I guess I should start from the beginning. This love story starts with two people, a 43 year old lady named Mayumi from southern Japan and a 33 year old guy from northern Japan. They were both very into Maple Story. They met somehow and ended up falling in love. They eventually decided to get married. I am not talking about a real world wedding here. I am talking about getting married within the game. Not quite normal or legally binding.

The only problem was that things do no end "happily ever after." Something happened to cause the online husband to want a divorce. The thing is, they were not actually married so he just said something like "We are now divorced." That made Mayumi angry. What do you think she did at this point? Well, she ended up doing the equivalent of online murder. She knew her "ex-husband's" password so she used it to go in and erase his character. Very simple and a lot less bloody than actual murder.

The only problem with this online murder (besides the fact that is a psycho thing to do in the first place) is the it is also against the law. No, we are not talking about murder 1 here. We are talking about a law about unauthorized access to computer accounts. Under this law, if Mayumi gets convicted, she can get up to a year in jail or a fine of up to 500000 yen (about 5000 USD). Again, not as bad as the sentence for an actual murder.

Any way, it is now time for the word of the day. Today's word is 離婚(りこん). It is pronounced rikon and means divorce. Why would anyone bother with an online divorce. You could just go off line.

That's it for today. See you next time at JJNN.


  1. Stupid move from the husband. The first step is to change your password before you get divorced... duhhh.