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China Idle Games

Chinese Couple Sells Children To Support Online Game Addiction 131

Posted by samzenpus
from the think-of-the-children-no-really-think-of-the-children dept.
hypnosec writes After several controversies arising about in-app purchases, a Chinese couple has done the unthinkable by selling their sons to buy in-app items. An unmarried couple, A Hui and A Mei, severely addicted to online games, were accused of selling their sons and were arrested. In an interview with Guangdong TV, they revealed that they chose to sell their sons to child traffickers. A Hui said A Mei is fond of playing online games and likes to buy game items. As he could not give up his in-app purchases, he was not able to support his first son and they sold him to Fujian-based child traffickers. When the wife bore another son, they felt they would not be able to support their second child either, and they again sold him to the traffickers.
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Chinese Couple Sells Children To Support Online Game Addiction

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  • title (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13, 2014 @01:12PM (#47443307)

    spelling plz, we aren't all Onlione yet

    • I'm not addicted to Onlione, but am a huge fan of online soup
      • by Cryacin (657549)
        Seriously? Sold their children because of gaming addiction? Talk about getting exercise by stretching the truth and jumping to conclusions!
    • by Soulskill (1459) Works for Slashdot

      Fixed it. Thanks.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I just assumed it was the new "Highlander Online" game, where there can be Onlione!

  • by Mister Transistor (259842) on Sunday July 13, 2014 @01:15PM (#47443321) Journal

    Well, that's it, we're broke. It's science experiments for the lot of you!

    • by HornWumpus (783565) on Sunday July 13, 2014 @01:22PM (#47443361)

      medical experiments

      'medical' is a good woody word. 'science' is tinny.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Beats being raised by gamers.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by asmkm22 (1902712)
      I think it's kind of messed up that an article about selling children results in the majority of comments either criticizing the editing of the summary, or making a joke of the situation. What a fucked up community.
      • by Mister Transistor (259842) on Sunday July 13, 2014 @09:16PM (#47445781) Journal

        "Won't somebody think of the children!!" Cry me a river, then piss off. We all have plenty of much more serious stuff to fret over than a couple of losers that made a bad decision. The sheer stupidity and rarity of the action makes it ludicrous enough to be surreal - it makes a joke of itself.

        Lighten up, Francis.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by h5inz (1284916)
          What? This got +5 insightful and when I posted a little joke about christianity it gets like BIGGOT! BIGGOT! -200. You are all catholics or what? Then this video would explain a lot:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
          Eat your shorts hypocrites.
  • by Crashmarik (635988) on Sunday July 13, 2014 @01:17PM (#47443337)

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... [huffingtonpost.com]

    From 2011

    You might think this is getting to be epidemic in China or somebody over there takes advantage of gullible westerners ?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      2 documented incidents in a country of 1 billion people.... No it is not an epidemic.

      On a side note, at one point in my life I was seriously addicted to gaming. It was all I did while I was awake. But the addiction was more of a coping mechanism. It did not 'ruin' my life, it was the only way I could face the day having almost no real prospects. Eventually I attacked it by attacking the cause of my depression, not the symptom. I suppose I am lucky to be smart enough to figure it out, and also lucky to

      • You miss the point, I am calling the story bullshit. Slow newsday made up crap meant to appeal to people's prejudices and fears leaving them with an undeserved sense of moral/cultural superiority. Crap like this is why "His Girl Friday", or "The Front Page" should be watched as documentary films not comedys

        • by meerling (1487879)
          Doesn't China still have a 1 child law.
          • by gnasher719 (869701) on Sunday July 13, 2014 @02:42PM (#47443785)

            Doesn't China still have a 1 child law.

            So? Who says you can't have a second child after you sold the first one?

            • Who says you can't have a second child after you sold the first one?

              Peasant Han: "Honest officer! Our child was sold into slavery over a year ago!"

              Officer Zau kicks over the wood stove, lifts open a patch of the tile floor and shines his light into the darkness below. A dozen eyes shine back.

              Officer Zau (screaming): Zui cha. Chaqu. Yongyuan!

              Officer Zau unholsters her Type 15 pistol, takes aim at Han and puts her finger on the trigger.

              (fade to black)

              • by wagnerrp (1305589)

                Officer Zau kicks over the wood stove, lifts open a patch of the tile floor and shines his light into the darkness below.

                Officer Zau unholsters her Type 15 pistol, takes aim at Han and puts her finger on the trigger.

                I think there's something more interesting going on here than simple population control...

                • by Anonymous Coward

                  Officers Zau and Zau are a highly efficient partnership who do not let their marriage make problems in the workplace.

            • by black3d (1648913)

              The law. In fact, even if your first child dies, you're still not allowed a second child. Doesn't stop people doing it, but those couples who lose a child early on to a medical condition, or being run over by a drunk driver, etc, and try to follow the law, aren't allowed a second child.

          • by daremonai (859175)
            The 1 child law is being eased somewhat, but still, with unmarried parents, there would have been very strong pressure to get an abortion. Which is why I'm a bit skeptical about the story myself.

            I watched the Chinese news broadcast, but, while it did feature prison interviews with both supposed parents, didn't really have a lot of details. Of course, there probably wouldn't be too many details given even if the story were true. Still, I found it less than convincing.

          • It depends on who you are and where you are. Ethnic minorities can have more than one child, so their ethnic group and culture do not become diminished. Rural villagers can also have more than one child sometimes, especially if their first child is not a boy. In some cases, they can keep having children until they get a boy. That is thought to reduce the incentive to engage in infanticide of female babies. Doctors are also not allowed to tell prospective parents whether their child will be a boy or a girl -
            • It depends on who you are and where you are. Ethnic minorities can have more than one child, so their ethnic group and culture do not become diminished. Rural villagers can also have more than one child sometimes, especially if their first child is not a boy. In some cases, they can keep having children until they get a boy. That is thought to reduce the incentive to engage in infanticide of female babies. Doctors are also not allowed to tell prospective parents whether their child will be a boy or a girl -- that is forbidden because it could also lead to infanticide. Finally, if the parents are wealthy, then they can simply pay the fine for extra children, and then it doesn't matter.

              What? Infanticide is discouraged?

              Those savages! Don't they know it's a woman's choice? Gasp! China is a such primitive backward society!

            • Doctors are also not allowed to tell prospective parents whether their child will be a boy or a girl -- that is forbidden because it could also lead to infanticide.

              I would think that would lead to abortions, which would greatly reduce infanticide...

          • by DavidMZ (3411229)

            Doesn't China still have a 1 child law.

            Not exactly, it depends on the number of siblings you have:
            - if both members of a couple are single children, they are allowed to have two kids.
            - if at least one of them is not a single child, they are not allowed to have more than one kid.

            There is also the possibility to pay for the "right" to have additional children, and I think that you then also have to pay for their education and medical expenses (whereas those are free for the 1st child).

            Actually, if you look at the demographics of China, the succ

        • Mod parent as insightful, please. I immediately thought of all the situations where people are probably selling their children for drugs/vice in the USA, and TFA makes it sound like this is only a problem in 'furriner' nations. Atlanta is a recognized hub for sex/child trafficking, but you have to look for yourself. It doesn't make the headlines, usually.

        • by PopeRatzo (965947)

          It's almost certainly BS, and you are spot on regarding those movies.

          I assume you're referring to the 1931 Lewis Milestone version and not the (also pretty good) Billy Wilder version from the '70s.

      • by Anrego (830717) *

        Life also becomes a lot less turbulent once you are done school and into a career.

        Yes there are still big problems later on in life, but the major stress drivers you find while still in school/starting your career are mostly resolved by that point (for better or worse).

    • by Anonymous Coward

      you can get alot of money giving chinese babies to white americans. all i'm saying

    • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Sunday July 13, 2014 @02:03PM (#47443583)

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... [huffingtonpost.com]

      From 2011

      You might think this is getting to be epidemic in China or somebody over there takes advantage of gullible westerners ?

      ok, I'd like to argue your point. You seem to think online gaming addiction isn't a "Thing"
      First you'll have to accept that "Gambling addiction" is real and causes people do these same sorts of things. If you don't that's a different argument.

      Then I, of course, am going to say that Online Gaming addiction is one and the same as Gambling addiction. And not that they are similar to or trigger similar things in the brain... no, it's that online gaming has turned into true gambling.

      As an example I'm going to cite "Neverwinter Online"
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N... [wikipedia.org]

      It's not the only one like this, but it's a good example of what I mean. They've taken strategies strait out of casinos and applied them to an MMO.

      First, they have so many currencies that are so confusing you can never keep track of what you have. There are dozens, if not over 100 of them:
      http://neverwinter.gamepedia.c... [gamepedia.com]

      Secondly, you can BUY one of these currencies with real money. Zen:
      https://billing.arcgames.com/e... [arcgames.com]

      Then you can turn around any buy a whole host of items with this Zen in the game.
      But, those items are expensive. But, you can buy "Keys" that open magic boxes that drop like rain in the game.
      Those boxes have completely undisclosed "odds" that can change at random.

      This is where it gets interesting...

      You can then sell the items that you got in those boxes at a profit in their online auction house.
      Then use the money you get from the sales to buy more keys
      Open more boxes
      You're getting the idea...

      On occasion you'll get a "winner" and get some fantastic item that sells for a lot.
      Often you'll lose a "small" amount and on occasion a LOT
      To get back into the game you have to buy more Zen...

      and it goes on like this. This is clearly gambling in my eyes. People are being used an manipulated. The fact that they hide the odds should be a red flag, but it's still going on. And before you argue that this isn't gambling because you don't get real world cash out of it... you can. There are plenty of people that will buy your currency for real money if you're selling cheaper than the game is. They make no attempt at all to stop it. There are a lot of people that make their entire living in markets like this. Ironically, most of them in China.

      So yes, I think it could get as crazy as these articles suggest. I don't propose banning it or anything. But more disclosure on odds... less pretend bullshit that this is anything less than what it is: Gambling... would do us all some good.

      • by vux984 (928602)

        I would have picked something more mainstream; its very nearly just as bad: Diablo III for example.

        Chest drops, valuable rare farming, AH selling... its all there. And some people are just as obsessed for exactly the same reasons.

        It applies just as well.

        • Diablo III for example....AH selling... its all there.

          What is this "AH" you speak of? The version of Diablo 3 I play never had it.

          All PS3 version related snark aside...the PC version doesn't have it anymore either. It was shut down on March 18th...didn't you get the memo?

          • by vux984 (928602)

            didn't you get the memo?

            Lol, evidently not. I don't play D3. Good on them... i guess.

            So now you have to use a 3rd party site? Has anything really changed, other than to make the whole situation a bit less offensively in ones face to the people who don't want to engage in that "meta-game"?

            Is it still the case, that if you want to be 'competitive' that you will engage in that sort of play-style? After all, just because blizzards not hosting the AH, doesn't mean its not still there, or that its not still the "

            • Is it still the case, that if you want to be 'competitive' that you will engage in that sort of play-style?

              No, they changed how loot is dropped, a part of it is called Smart Loot and was first revealed in the console version (the console loot system is nicknamed Loot 1.5) The PC version has what they call "Loot 2.0". So Playing self-found is viable.

              http://www.diablowiki.net/Smar... [diablowiki.net]

              http://www.diablowiki.net/Loot... [diablowiki.net]

      • by PopeRatzo (965947)

        You have enumerated the reasons I will never, ever play a "Free 2 Play" game.

        Ain't nothing free.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          My favorite thing about free to pay games is that so many games (FtP or otherwise) are only really fun during the buildup phase, and then they get a bit samey. You can go through all that without actually spending any money. You lose the time either way. Then you move on to the next game. Along the way, if you're feeling generous, you might file some bug reports. That is an awful lot like actual work, however.

        • by nhat11 (1608159)

          Eh "Ain't nothing free" even if you try to get a game in a store.

      • by kesuki (321456) on Sunday July 13, 2014 @09:19PM (#47445797) Journal

        I have gambled many times many ways and it is nowhere near as addictive as gaming is. i have played video games since i was 5 i think, i am currently 36. in my 31 years as a gaming addict there never was enough time to game... oh i learned a few other hobbies but gaming was always the excuse for someone to get me to read or do other acts besides the gaming. portable gaming just made the problem worse, and i started to have money -- to rent games. so i rented. my grades in school suffered because i always had to have that gaming fix. when i skimmed through school and finally got a job, i used that income to you guessed it game. i had 14 credit cards and an inability to hold down a job -- because it interfered with my gaming. had i hit rock bottom? nope i got a bankruptcy and eliminated all my debt all $35,000 of it and with nothing to show for it, because i lived off cash advances when i couldn't hold down jobs just to keep all the bills paid. and that wasn't rock bottom not yet. i had had problem in years past with starcraft, and broke, living with my parents i found the sequel to a game i had played years ago, the old game being warcraft II. warcraft III was way more addictive and when it's expansion came out i played it for a long time warcraft III The frozen throne is a game i literally played 8,000 ladder matched games plus countless thousands of non ladder games such as DOTA. this was rock bottom for me. i would play a good 14-16 hours a day into just one game i read this website and other while waiting for matches or when i felt the game was lost and stopped trying. i was having issues sleeping at night and i wasn't on any drugs not even caffeine since i had no funding to pay for it. i basically cracked and developed PTSD but it went unnoticed and i finally got help i needed, for other issues that were not related to the gaming but perhaps were increased by it. i had to quit games cold turkey as in hospitals it is very hard to game seriously because everything with a cord is prohibited and i only saw people using handheld games, like a hand held poker game, for example. nothing even as close to as addictive as the warcraft 3 game. tbh i even occasionally play games but i set pretty strict rules about when and how much i can game. fortunately i like to read and watch movies, and it no longer is 'instead of gaming' but rather because i don't dare game more than a few times a day (currently playing League of Legends a dota clone, which was spawned from warcraft to keep up micro skills of ladder players.) it is a free to play game, and is slightly easier to play than regular warcraft 3 tft. but even with all this addiction i never bought in game items (and there are plenty of them to buy) though i can see how people can be addicted to that like gambling. the adrenaline rush of playing a game is way more addictive than drugs or money, because there are ways to find cheaper fixes that are just as addictive. money is nice don't get me wrong, and yes chemicals can make you feel good but, dude an AAA video game is $60 a computer to play it starts around $400, for decent parts, my personal rig cost me $1100 in parts, including os cost, and it plays everything out there. how much heroin can $1,200 buy you? whereas between renting and internet research finding the game that addicts you most can take you down a long and windy road that only requires a little bit of electricity compared to drug costs to get the same effect.

        • Gaming also apparently interfered with your ability to use linebreaks. What, enter was never hot-keyed in any of those games?

          • by baka_toroi (1194359) on Monday July 14, 2014 @11:22AM (#47448849) Journal
            This in in the first line. This is the second line. And this is the third line, with an empty line in between.

            Except it's not, because Slashdot is a piece of shit and requires you to use the break html tag, which not everyone knows about. Maybe it's been fixed in Slashdot beta, I don't know.
            • by Anonymous Coward

              Of course, you don't have to post as html in the first place then
              lines can have line breaks.

    • by camg188 (932324)

      You might think this is getting to be epidemic in China or somebody over there takes advantage of gullible westerners ?

      Just a slow news day.

    • by Stargoat (658863)

      No, we're all just shocked that they sold their boys. If it was girls being sold, it would not have made the papers or attracted the attention of the Chinese cops.

  • It sounds like these two will soon be executed. Without being in favor of the death penalty it sounds like it may well have a silver lining in this case. If the facts are as presented, at least, it's probably a very good thing they wont be reproducing again.

    Still, surgical sterilization would do the job as well, and unlike the death penalty, it is at least possible it could be reversed, should it eventually come out that the two were somehow framed and not really guilty.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      At lease in China they harvest their usable organs first...
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Please give some context before your code snippet.

    • If the kids are being "trafficked" to adoptive families it's not really much of a crime.
    • Without being in favor of the death penalty it sounds like it may well have a silver lining in this case.

      No, the murder of two people does not have a silver lining, especially mentally ill people.

      Why didn't they sell these kids to adoption agencies? The kids would have been better off. Is there some law that prevents the sale of children to adoption agencies such that they turned to slavers instead?

      • by mark-t (151149)
        You can't sell your kids to an adoption agency.... you can give them up for adoption, but it's quite thoroughly against the law to have any monetary transaction accompanying it.
  • If these parents preferred in-game geegaws to their children then even going to Fujian child traffickers there's a fair chance that the children would end up in more caring homes than they started in.

    • So long as the child traffickers sell them for adoption into family homes... and not to those who will raise them for prostitution, or raise them for farm labor, or raise them to cripple them and set them to begging, or...

  • What are Asian babies going for nonwadays. I cannot imagine very much. It does not cost that much to feed a person for a year of conception, and you might get two or three children out of one birth
    • by Anonymous Coward

      What's the going rate for teenagers ? Or do you have to pay for someone to come and take them away ?

  • Have they fallen so far as to ignore proper spelling in the title?

  • they were obviously not so much addicted as to not even sleep with each other any more ;)
    nah, seriously, lock those people up good and take away all gadgets.

  • In all seriousness, is this what happens when you make drugs punishable by the death penalty?
    • by slart42 (694765)

      In all seriousness, is this what happens when you make drugs punishable by the death penalty?

      I don't think so. Actually, drugs seem to be very easy to come by in China (At least that was my impression in Beijing earlier this year).

      While the death penalty for drug trade exists on paper, according to wikipedia, it has not been applied in over a decade: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C... [wikipedia.org]

      • by slart42 (694765)

        Replying to myself: My Google skills mislead me, that wikipedia link referred to the Republic of China (Taiwan), not mainland China (which does seem to have capital punishment on drug trafficking, no idea how commonly it is applied).

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why not something even more sinister, like "Toothless United States junkies sell children for meth"

  • Are we supposed to believe that people who sell their children can be generalized as especially evil if they are gamers, addicts, or Chinese? I mean what does that really have to do with it ? There are no good reasons for baby selling - its just bad for any reason. I bet these gamey baby sellers had a lot of other characteristics that were even more illuminating: like perhaps they were nuts or they had a spectrum disorder, or they were evil. Maybe they sucked at games and hate Chinese food. Somehow this headline smacks of "yellow" journalism. We always need to remind the west how shifty the majority population behaves. We believe in democracy as long as we out number them, but they don't get a vote if they are gonna sell babies for angry birds. Should we feel a bit superior because our gamers never have sex and therefore can't sell their children? Or perhaps that our baby sellers do it for better addictions, more cash, or porn? Somehow the story strikes me as a bad slant on China (sic) ...I mean everyone knows you keep the boys and sell the girls to desperate rich middle aged infertile Americans that will divorce before the child hits puberty.
    • by easyTree (1042254)

      Somehow this headline smacks of "yellow" journalism. We always need to remind the west how shifty the majority population behaves.

      Stop being so judgmental - it's not easy to replace the Russians overnight. Get with the program, commie/traitor...

  • He made them an offer they couldn't refuse.

  • We've got to get this news to Central America. They are sending their kids up to the USA for free.

  • by Rick in China (2934527) on Sunday July 13, 2014 @10:29PM (#47446107)
    There have been worse stories than this - one gaming addicted couple (maybe 2 years ago) sold their child to pay for their gaming, and got pregnant with the intent of selling their new one to pay for gaming as well.. they were also arrested. I can't remember what happened with the baby. There are also stories of parents selling their children for Apple products. People here are seriously sick in the head for money - it's a common problem with a lot of younger people especially... there is so much 'new wealth' around, typically not hard earned, and I suppose it influences a lot of people who, in a society where their self-worth is largely determined by how much money they've got in relation to those they went to high school/university with, I guess it's inevitable. If you do some research on child abductions and missing children - also - there are tens of thousands of new children going missing every year, at least. That's not including the ones who were intentionally sold. Farmers can sell their children into essentially slavery at just a couple years old, and do so for as little as 5000rmb (less than 1k USD). These children are often put out on the street while they're that young to panhandle, carrying cheap little flowers to harass people outside of clubs to buy the flowers for their partners, or at restaurants, or wherever. When they're older, the boys typically go into thieving, and the girls a far worse fate. It's truly a terrible circumstance, and if you live here, you can _ABSOLUTELY_ see it first hand.
  • by kurkosdr (2378710)
    Some WoW addict read this as: "Procreation: A source of revenue to fund your WoW leveling"
  • What gets me about this story isn't that they sold their children... you're going to have one or two parents out there in any society that are so screwed up in their heads that they'd contemplate such an option to fund whatever addiction they may have. The significance is that it's so easy to do so in China.
  • by toby (759)
    Apparently it's not "unthinkable".

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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