Second Life players didn’t give their child a Second Chance

Second Life obsessed parents starve two-year-old child

Couple ‘living in fantasy world’ accused of starving girl

Parents ‘were so immersed in fantasy video game world where their avatars married and had jobs they let real-life daughter, 2, nearly starve to death’

Mark Knapp and Elizabeth Pester

Mark Knapp and Elizabeth Pester

This is the second story I’ve heard of parents neglecting their children in favour of Second Life. I saw a feature on Dr. Phil (back in my HSC days) on this game, with a 13 year old girl addicted to it. To me, it looks sort of like The Sims, only a bit more sophisticated. I don’t know much about the game, so I typed the term “Second Life” into urbandictionary.com (where I do all of my serious research) and got this:

“Second Life:

A game where desperate people with no lives or friends get to live out their dreams of social acceptance and sex. The vast majority of Second Life players are unattractive and socially awkward.”

Well, there you have it. Put that definition together with the mugshot and it explains a lot.

Mark Knapp (48) and his blushing bride Elizabeth Pester (33) stand accused of neglecting their 2 year old daughter in favour of looking after their Second Life avatars. The couple were charged with child neglect and abuse after it was found that their daughter only weighed 5.8 kg (13 lbs). She was rushed to hospital in a severe state of malnutrition. On top of being severely underweight, she couldn’t walk or talk, and the back of her head was flat.

When the cops came around to arrest the couple, they found them playing Second Life. Mark asked the officers whether they were here because their daughter had died. NO THEY WERE NOT! They should thank their fucking lucky stars that she wasn’t dead! They were so absorbed in their crappy little game that they didn’t even know their daughter was alive or dead.

The couple were known to authorities, with their daughter being taken away in 2012 for being underweight. She was returned (wtf?) on the condition that she was to be weighed weekly to ensure that she reached a healthy weight. The weigh-ins did not happen! Big fat FAIL.

Elizabeth allegedly rescheduled her daughter’s appointments and requested that the appointments be scheduled for the afternoon, citing that she worked as a DJ and needed her sleep in the mornings. The DJ gig, as it turns out, belongs to her Second Life avatar, DJ Syn. The immersion was that deep, she thought her avatar was actually her. She and Mark also had a virtual wedding and she shared pictures of it on her Facebook, saying

” THE MOST AMAZING NIGHT A BRIDE COULD HAVE I WONT TRADE IT FOR THE WORLD!!!”

The silliness of this would be so funny, if a kid wasn’t near death due to the idiocy of her breeders. She actually tried to pass off Second Life as her own life?? Her real life must be so boring.

Here’s a picture of their avatars (for a comparison to their actual mugshots). The top one is from their fake wedding:

Alter-egos: In the online virtual world Second Life, Pester's blonde avatar (left) worked as a DJ, and the couple had a wedding

You’re kidding yourselves if you think you actually look like that.

DJ

Pester’s fake job as DJ Syn

The ghastly gamers are being held in Tulsa county jail on US$50, 000 each. And no, that’s not in Simoleons. Their little girl is still in a critical condition, trying to regain her real life.

Imagine how good this family could be living if Mark and Elizabeth put in as much effort into their real life as they did building up their Second Life avatars?

PS: If you get the chance, look up Second Life trolling videos on YouTube. These players go to pieces over nothing!

  • DMaria Faraj

    I think there was a L&O SVU that was loosely based on this

    • Aussie Sabbath

      Yes, I saw that one. The police thought there was a crying baby in the apartment but it was two fat gamers playing 2ndL instead.

  • Topsy Kreets

    Someone needs to share their Second Life names, and FB pages already!

    • Aussie Sabbath

      The female’s Second Life character is called DJ Syn.
      We’re not allowed to share FB links here in the comments section, because of vigilantes harassing friends of the accused who may not have anything to do with the abuse. But if you want to look them up in your own time, knock yourself out. Some of the pages are good for a laugh.

  • http://trenchreynolds.me/ Trench Reynolds

    The problem with Second Life players is that they don’t have a first life to begin with.

  • Dumpsterbunnie

    Fucking nasty lazy insane pieces of shit deserve to get there intestines ripped out of there ass holes and rolled on a fire ant hill.

  • Skye Belle Matilda Brand

    I tried to play this once…The Sims too…I just couldn’t get into it…why would I clean my fake house & have sex with my fake husband & look after my fake kids when I can do all those things for real? I just don’t see the attraction of leading a realistic fake like where you still have to do bloody housework!!!!!!!!

    • Kat

      I tried second life but couldn’t get into it. I do however love my Sims. For the record I work full time (as a registered nurse), have raised a healthy daughter who is 19yo and we have a clean, though not perfect, house. There are no dishes sitting around, the beds are made and the dog is housebroken so no house full of pet crap. There’s probably a couple of shelves that need dusting but oh well! We’re also in the process of building our own house.

      I say all this because I want you to know that normal, rational people can enjoy these games IN MODERATION. I find therapeutic value cause I can make a sim of someone who has annoyed me then torture it! I can also make a family and reach goals like collecting all of one type of collectible or reaching the top of a profession. I gave up smoking, rarely drink…. I’m keeping my Sims dammit! To a normal person it can be a fun hobby – though since I’m also studying for a post graduate diploma in mental health I admit I don’t have much free time any more.

      • Skye Belle Matilda Brand

        I loved mental health when I was a nurse. It suited me I think…lol!

        I’m sure there are tens of thousands of you out there…working, having families, managing a household, gaming, keeping shit together…it’s just not my bag. I don’t get it! I love to read & if I didn’t have responsibilities I would love to spend 18 hours a day reading…but I do have responsibilities so I read when the kids are in bed & the housework is done. I imagine that’s when most responsible gaming parents squeeze in some computer time too!

        • Kat

          Its also when we squeeze in reading time! I love to read too… I’m the only person I know that got in trouble at school for reading too much!! My Kindle has over 300 books on it and I’m always adding to them. I also read when I’m on public transport, when I’m waiting for just about anything, when I get to work 15-20 mins early, when I’m eating a meal alone etc. I just make sure I take my kindle everywhere!

  • Ashley Martin

    I’m not into that second life crap but as both a mother and a gamer those fuck tards make me sick. Its ok to love your video games but what kind of loser loves them more than their kids? Pathetic!! I hope they starve to death because the guards are too busy working prisons in sl to remember to feed them.

  • Muggle

    Damn it Aussie Sabbath, I am soooo weak for trolling videos. And I JUST closed out YouTube…

    • Aussie Sabbath

      The one I saw on D’D was about this troll sim called Esteban Winsmore who’s designed to be ugly and messes up parties and nightclubs. The “owner” of the club, no matter how sexy she made her sim, sounds like an overweight pack-a-day smoker.
      Plus there was another one where someone says how great Obama was and this other guy just blows up.

      • Muggle

        I JUST saw the video where the guy pretends to be an Obama supporter! Oh that’s some good shit. The troll can’t fake an American accent to save his life, but I rofl’d when he said he was from Texas, and the victim still blew up.

        Edit: There’s also a video where some dumb bitch seriously says her SL pregnancy is a “practice pregnancy.” Maybe that was the egg donor featured here?

        • Aussie Sabbath

          LOL the way that people take the game so seriously is just astounding. A bit of trolling would make the game more interesting, I reckon.

          • Muggle

            After a while that’s all I did on RuneScape. I was a free player and once you get to level 60 the game gets very, very dull. Or did when I quit playing in 9th grade.

            I never set out to piss anyone off, I just said the first bizarre thing that came to mind and spammed the “emote” controls. I did brighten some people’s days, apparently.

          • Aussie Sabbath

            Apparently people don’t like it when you “Ninja Loot” stuff in World of Warcraft either.
            I did hear you can storm parties and start chucking grenades and stuff around in SL.

          • Muggle

            My fiance told me about Ninja Looting. That would happen in RuneScape all the time. With multiple people often fighting the same monster, guess who got all the loot? Hint: not the melee players. and I was horrible at the ranger shit. Fuck archery in fantasy games, man.

          • Aussie Sabbath

            My partner won’t let me join in on LAN parties because he knows I’m too tempted to troll other players 😛

          • Muggle

            Now I want to do some trolling of my own, but RuneScape bores me, I haven’t played in years and I’m not currently playing any games where I have to deal with other players. :/

          • Muggle

            Oh my god I just took your suggestion to watch the Esteban Winsmore videos… wow. Holy shit. 50 year old rednecks acting like 6-year-olds…

          • Aussie Sabbath

            I know, there was one couple that went along with it but the rest go nuts!
            No wonder they’re social retards if they behave like that over a game!

          • Aussie Sabbath

            “The Home Invasions of Esteban Winsmore” is top shit too.

  • shadyhellyeah

    Wtf?! My 13 month old weighs TWICE that…and he refuses to wait longer than five minutes extra for his meals, even when he’s sick! You gotta wonder how those weekly weigh ins were allowed to lapse like that without consequences BEFORE this child ended up hospitalized…sounds to me like she was failed not only by her “parents” but child protective services as well!

  • Buffettgirl

    I’m no fan of animation so this obsession is something I just can’t understand… These folks just need to sign over the child, get sterilized and be left in a room together alone until they just expire from playing the game and losing touch with reality…

  • Alexandra1973

    As much as I like playing Sims 2 and Sims 3…it’s no problem for me to get off my duff and fix dinner for my son, who’s a sixth-grader.
    I’m also not afraid to pause it, quit/save game, and give my child hugs and do some housework. 😉
    I think someone who’s THAT into something like that is pretty far gone….

    • Aussie Sabbath

      I used to like The Sims, you’d play it nice and properly and then when you get sick of them, you find imaginative ways to kill them or let bad things happen to them.
      My partner used to make a whole neighbourhood of lesbian Sims and make them kiss and have sex and stuff :S

  • AC

    People as old as this neglecting their real child because they want to live a shallow fantasy life where they’re glamorous and beautiful. There’s a saying: no matter where you go, there you are. If they’d put as much effort into living a full life of their own instead of an unreal life they can never have, a little girl might be playing and laughing and having a happy life instead of fighting for her life in a hospital. That would have given them a real purpose and a life truly worth living.