A couple from China was so overtaken by their video game addiction that they said they sold their three children in order to fund their obsession.
The couple made up to $10,000 in the trafficking of their two sons and daughter in order to foot the cost of spending time and using the video games at Internet cafés, according to a report by Sanxiang City News.
Li Lin and Li Juan met in 2007 at the age of 18 in an internet café and connected over their shared love of video games. After becoming romantically involved the couple had their first son a year later.
According to the Sanxiang City News via ABC News Radio, their addiction was so intense that they left the newborn infant by himself days after his birth in order to go to a café and play video games.
When their daughter was born in 2009, the two devised a plan to sell her and use the money to fund their gaming; they earned just under $500 selling the child. They then decided to sell their son, and as male children are more valuable in Chinese culture, they received $4,600 for him.
A third son was born and also sold for $4,600 when Li Lin’s mother learned about what the couple had been doing and altered the police.
The couple of Dongguan, located in central Guangdong province, told authorities and the media that they weren’t aware selling their children was illegal.
“We don’t want to raise them, we just wanted to sell them for some money,” they told Sanxiang City News.
The whereabouts of the children are unknown, but according to the New York Daily News, reports detail that thousands of Chinese children are sold to work in factories in near-slave conditions.
Gaming addiction is an ever-growing problem in China. In 2009, it was reported that up to 13 percent of Chinese college students were gaming addicts.
Despite efforts such as treatment programs set in place to aid people in recovery, cases of people taking their addiction to the extreme, to the determent of themselves or others, continue to pop up.
In 2007, a Chinese man died after playing video games for three days straight.