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NEWS: Gamer Murdered Over Virtual Property

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posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 06:42 PM
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Shanghai gamer Qui Chengwei stabbed and killed Zhu Caoyuan. The motive appears that Zhu had loaned a virtual sword (for the online game the Legenf of Mir 3), from qui and sold it. Qui immediately went to the police, and was turned down as laws there do not cover virtual property. Qui is now facing a suspended death sentence. Victim Zhu Caoyuan was 26 years old.
 



news.bbc.co.uk
Chinese gamer sentenced to life

A Shanghai online gamer has been given a suspended death sentence for killing a fellow gamer.

Qiu Chengwei stabbed Zhu Caoyuan in the chest when he found out he had sold his virtual sword for 7,200 Yuan (£473).

The sword, which Mr Qiu had lent to Mr Zhu, was won in the popular online game Legend of Mir 3.

Attempts to take the dispute to the police failed because there is currently no law in China to protect virtual property.

Appeal plea

Buying and selling gaming artefacts such as imaginary weapons is a booming business on the web.

The internet games section of Ebay saw more than $9m (£5m) in trades in 2003.

While China has no laws to deal with the theft of virtual property, South Korea has a section of its police force that investigates in-game crime.

Dragon sabre

According to the Chinese press, more and more gamers are seeking justice through the courts over stolen weapons and credits accumulated in games.
...


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Upon first seeing this article I was quick to disprove it as fiction, but then I have seen other things or read other things that prove otherwise. The line between fantasy and reality appears to be becoming blurred, as these are the kinds of stories that will soon become urban legends of tommorow.

Related News Links:
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news.bbc.co.uk
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www.ctrlaltdel-online.com

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posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 07:30 PM
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In China the favoured means of revenge is stabbing. And often over trivial things. I still remember the story of the middle-aged man whose wife died. He invited almost the whole village to his house for the wake and then poisoned them all, even the children, by putting rat poison in the food. Apparently some of the villagers had been mean to him and he saw a golden opportunity to take advantage of their sudden sympathy for his loss.

As far as virtual property is concerned, it seems the law is a step behind in many countries. Which is odd, because numbers in a stock market or computerized banking system are really just "virtual money", but there exist very clear and extensive laws pertaining to the illegal manipulation of these digits.



posted on Jun, 9 2005 @ 07:54 PM
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Thanks for the summary -- I saw the news article yesterday. It's a landmark case, really, because it deals with the value of intangibles.



posted on Jun, 10 2005 @ 06:09 PM
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Well I think this is ridculous. I know stuff like the loaning and then being sold happens alot on many internet games I've played. People get upset and then don't do it again, not going and stabbing the person. I don't think that there should ever be laws governing the loaning, selling, or stealing of virtual items in games.

As for the buying the items on Ebay and other websites, that is another thing I think is ridiculous. It just shows how lazy people are sometimes.



posted on Jun, 10 2005 @ 06:18 PM
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This is so absurd. ITS ONLY A GAME. Geez, some people are way too into that kind of stuff. What a way to throw away your life and money. But oh well I guess its gods way of getting rid of the dumb ones.



posted on Jun, 10 2005 @ 07:03 PM
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I have always loved gaming. I love the acting. I love having a virtual existence. Many people do. There are very serious gamers in the world. There are very immersive games in the world. They will only get more real not less. This case is a very early example of how the thin line between reality and fantasy can be pierced by our minds and in our daily lives. As the virtual becomes more prominent we will need new laws to govern our behavior in it.

This is a warning to all of you hip cats out there! The first person (male or female) to try and sleep with my virtual wife is going to get a bullet in the head!

O.K. so I am being extreme.



posted on Jun, 10 2005 @ 07:15 PM
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How many people belive it is about a virtual item, or about money? To me I only see it as an issue of money.

You cannot find somemone who will buy something for X amout of money and then say it is worth that much.



posted on Jun, 10 2005 @ 07:16 PM
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Well this is definately the stupidest motive for a crime I've ever heard of.

This will end up being used as fodder for those people who oppose video games/on-line games.


Seriously though the friggin sword is just a bunch of 0s and 1s making up a pixelated picture.



posted on Jun, 10 2005 @ 07:24 PM
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That Sword Which just so happens to be worth hundreds of dollars ...
I've heard of people getting killed for a dimebag (10 $ bag of weed) If there is demand for ANYTHING then there is a WORTH for said item. That is what Capitolism is all about.

[edit on 10-6-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Jun, 10 2005 @ 07:35 PM
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One girl, from Japan, who I think was 12 or 13, got called ugly by a girl from her school on an online message board, so the next day she called her to an empty room in the school and she cut her neck with box cutters and left her there to die before going to the teacher and telling her to call the ambulance. Her name wasn't given out and the only photo of her is her wearing a blue top that says "Nevada" on it so she's been called "The Nevada Girl".
She didn't get charged with murder because she wasn't old enough.



posted on Jun, 10 2005 @ 10:04 PM
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Here's an example of virtual intangibles being worth real money...

Here's a link to a free game
www.mapleglobal.com...

and here are people bidding via ebay on virtual items related to the game


The terms and conditions on www.mapleglobal.com prohibit such actions and warn users not to partake.



posted on Jun, 11 2005 @ 06:16 PM
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Um....isn't money a virtual intangibles? I mean, where's the money that you have in your bank account? It's not "real" is it? When your employer transfers money to your account someone with a suitcase full of cash doesn't take it to some vault. It's intangible, imaginary in a way.

If the majority of a person's wealth is not "material", people live and die for something that's not real.



posted on Jun, 11 2005 @ 06:22 PM
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Ok Im not into this gaming stuff....
Can some please explain...
What did he mean by a virutal sword that he won in a game???

Is it like a little computerized zelda sword or something???
Can't he just tell the game "MODS" or owners and operators and
they can sort this out


Im so lost



[edit on 11/6/2005 by SportyMB]



posted on Jun, 11 2005 @ 06:27 PM
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Obviously people in this world have gone nuts and to a new low,killing for a "stolen" sword....which was not even real.



posted on Jun, 11 2005 @ 06:50 PM
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Sporty, yes it is something like that. It was found or won in the game with no value outside of the game



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 09:13 PM
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SportyMB

You need to understand that there are online games taht are virual worlds the players can interact with. Usually it involves Maximizing your character with special items that are incdredibly hard to find, and takes many weeks of gameplay to finnally find. If there is a Ultra-rare item taht grants special powers to make your stronger then anyone else, everyone wants it. in that game. and are willing to spend real world money, to get that item



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 10:39 PM
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Originally posted by wecomeinpeace
In China the favoured means of revenge is stabbing. And often over trivial things. I still remember the story of the middle-aged man whose wife died. He invited almost the whole village to his house for the wake and then poisoned them all, even the children, by putting rat poison in the food. Apparently some of the villagers had been mean to him and he saw a golden opportunity to take advantage of their sudden sympathy for his loss.

As far as virtual property is concerned, it seems the law is a step behind in many countries. Which is odd, because numbers in a stock market or computerized banking system are really just "virtual money", but there exist very clear and extensive laws pertaining to the illegal manipulation of these digits.


That is one disgusting remark on another's culture. WTF do you know about Chinese culture? If you are not born and raised there then you have no say in it. You came to that judgment from reading an online article of an isolated case that happened all the way on the other side of the world? If judgements could be made like that, then American's most favorite pastime hobbies include smoking weeds, farm orgies and school shootings. How that sound to you?



posted on Jun, 12 2005 @ 11:14 PM
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I believe Chinese laws pertaining to virtual property are likely out of date if they don't exist. Even if someone argued that this sword was just data in a virtual world and not something tangible, doesn't a lot of the rest of the world believe the owners of the data are entitled to some compensation if the data is sold? I know Microsoft would be upset if no one paid them for any of their data for their software and sold their data for money as well after they got it. If the game creators were in fact the owners of this sword data, the guy who worked long hours or won it sort of had a virtual lease on this property it sounds like. I believe some software is not sold but leased. If there had been laws to prosecute against virtual crime in China, this incident might have been avoided.

I'm not surprised there are no laws to protect against virtual property in China. I hear so much software pirating goes on that it seems very common in China. I don't know for sure if it's 100 percent true but that's my impression of China.

If this had happened in the US and I was on the jury, I would have some mercy on this killer. I know if someone had a specially outfitted car and loaned it to a buddy who then sold it for a few quick bucks on ebay, the original owner would demand justice one way or another. I also believe China needs to update their laws.

I do not support murder. I believe suitable compensation should have been available for the original leaser of this sword data though.



posted on Jun, 13 2005 @ 08:22 AM
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Originally posted by RedHare
That is one disgusting remark on another's culture.

I'm sorry, I should have clarified. Stabbing is the most common means of violent revenge.


WTF do you know about Chinese culture? If you are not born and raised there then you have no say in it.

A ridiculous, nationalistic statement. Are you saying that immigrants know nothing about the country they live in? But since you asked, I live in Shanghai. And since you made assumptions about me, I'll make one about you and assume you are Chinese or Taiwanese born and later migrated to the U.S. Am I right? According to your own statement, you have no right to comment on America, or, for that matter, any country other than your place of birth.


You came to that judgment from reading an online article of an isolated case that happened all the way on the other side of the world?

Rubbish. My source is the State-owned, State-run media in China.


If judgments could be made like that, then American's most favorite pastime hobbies include smoking weeds, farm orgies and school shootings. How that sound to you?

I couldn't care less what judgments you make regarding America, but again, according to your statement above, you don't have the right.
---

Back OT, the sword that the gamer sold was earned by the original owner as a result of hundreds, maybe 1000's of man-hours playing the game. It has value in the real world because virtual items like these are bought and sold all the time for real money. As orionthehunter said, just because the item is made up of code doesn't mean it has no value, otherwise you wouldn't have to pay for software. The guy who sold it knew exactly what he was doing. Still, that doesn't justify the stabbing.

As far as software piracy laws in China are concerned, they do exist, but they are not strictly enforced. You can buy Windows XP or any other software from a street vendor for US$1, and the police are either not concerned, or are paid to look the other way. The same with DVDs and music CDs. I see most major release films before they even come out in the cinema.




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