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Woman cuffed for deleting virtual husband

Metaverse crime and punishment

A 43-year-old Japanese woman has been jailed for "killing" her virtual husband to revenge an unexpected in-game divorce.

The unhappy couple's characters had been "married" in the side-scrolling Korean massive multiplayer game, MapleStory. Not in real life, mind you, just within the game.

But e-vows were too soon discarded, bringing rise to a plot of digital murder.

She was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of illegally accessing a computer and manipulating electronic data. Police claim she used the man's identification and password in order to delete his beloved character, the AP reports.

"I was suddenly divorced, without a word of warning. That made me so angry," a police official quoted her as telling investigators.

The 33-year-old office worker contacted the police when he discovered his character was missing in Mid-May.

He is believed to have freely given the woman his MapleStory password at an earlier date when the two were in the joyous throes of e-marital bliss.

After her arrest, the woman was taken some 620 miles from her home in southern Miyazaki to be detained in Sapporo, where the man lives. She hasn't yet been formally charged, but AP reports she could face a prison term of up to five years in prison or a fine of $5,000 (£3,091) if convicted. ®

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