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What can we learn from serial celebrity break-ups, billionaire bust-ups, misbehaving spouses, pants-on challenged politicos and the ever-shifting landscape of divorce law? Question is, "What CAN'T we learn"? With latte in hand and clicky finger at the ready, dive in for the best in divorce news, views, gossip, and buzz – assembled below for your reading pleasure.

Getting divorced is an emotional experience – even if it happens in a virtual, online world. A Japanese woman got so angry when her virtual husband ditched her that she hacked the system to whack him.

According to Japanese police, the woman, who was jailed on suspicion of illegally accessing a computer and manipulating electronic data, used the man’s identification and password in mid-May to log onto the Korean interactive game Maple Story(right) to carry out the virtual hara kiri.

The woman was a 43-year-old piano teacher in Miyazaki, the man was a 33-year-old office worker in Sapporo. "I was suddenly divorced, without a word of warning. That made me so angry," the virtual cougar told investigators.

Reality check. This did not happen in the real world. Her online avatar had met and “married” his online avatar, who then dumped her without warning. Any woman can understand the hurt. While the couple was happily “married,” he had told her his login and password, perhaps as a way of showing trust. Mistake!

She did not, officials said, plot any revenge in the real world. Still, if convicted, she could face a prison term of up to five years or a fine up to $5,000.

As AP noted, players in Maple Story operate in a two-dimensional virtual world where they engage “in relationships, social activities and fighting against monsters and other obstacles."

Instead of remaining in the virtual world, and perhaps sending a monster after her avatar, the man went to the police when he discovered that his avatar was kaput.

It seems lately that the virtual world is seeping more and more into the real world, and vice versa. On the web site for the television series Starter Wife,  women are urged to insert the image of their exes into a virtual game of “Whack an Ex.”

AP also noted that, in August, a Delaware woman was charged with plotting the actual abduction of a boyfriend she met throughSecond Life, the hugely popular interactive online world. And Tokyo police arrested a teenager on charges of swindling virtual currency worth $360,000 in an interactive role playing game with a stolen ID and password.

Maybe the lesson here is that a second life in computerland is not a real, but the consequences may be.



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