Man murdered for cyber sabre

China’s obsession with online computer games has led to its first murder after one player killed another over a weapon that existed only in cyberspace.

The weapon, a “dragon sabre”, was won as part of a game called Legend of Mir III by a 41-year-old from Shanghai, Qiu Chengwei. After winning it, players can use it to kill more characters or, as Qiu did, lend it to another player.

Qiu lent the sword to Zhu Caoyuan, 26, who sold it for 7,200 yuan, just under £500, which is five times the average monthly income in Shanghai.

When Qiu found out, he took the argument into the physical world, reporting it as a theft. The police claimed they could do nothing, as the property was merely virtual.

Qiu then broke into Mr Zhu’s house and stabbed the cyber-thief in the chest.

Qiu was given a suspended death sentence, meaning his execution will be commuted to life in jail if he behaves well for the next two years.

But Mr Zhu’s father said: “My son was only 26 when he died. We want Qiu to die, and immediately.”

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The Daily Telegraph, UK
June 9, 2005
Richard Spencer in Beijing

Religion News Blog posted this on Friday June 10, 2005.
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