Addiction as it applies to MMOs and internet activity in general is a contentious issue. Many of the more unusual or extreme stories regarding the actions that result from digital addiction tend to come to us from Asia, especially China. The pace and fervor with which China's internet savvy population has seized the web and all that it offers -- both good and bad -- is staggering. The web has become integral to entertainment in China, particularly for the younger generation, but it's brought with it a host of societal problems and crime.
Only days ago, the Chinese government classified Internet addiction as a mental disease, a fact which may well stay the execution of Hu Ange, a 22-year-old man who poisoned his own parents... apparently so they would not interfere with his addiction to the online game Legend. Hu was sentenced to death, but the case is now being appealed on the grounds that he is mentally ill.
Shanghai Daily reports: "His parents gave him 50,000 yuan (US$7,353) to support his seafood business in March 2007, but he spent it all on the online game... Hu bought 20 packs of tetramine on July 14, 2007, and poisoned his father Hu Ming the next morning. His father was saved after emergency treatment. Hu Ange then bought 45 more packs of tetramine on July 20 and mixed them with beef on July 24. Both his parents were poisoned after eating the beef at lunch. Hu Ange's mother asked him to call for help but he stayed in his room to play Legend..."
Despite his actions, Hu Ange's family doesn't want him to be executed, and are appealing his case to a higher court.