Online games in China result in murder, suicide, theft

This is definitely a strange story.

When Qiu Chengwei reported the theft of his “dragon sabre” he was laughed out of the police station. So the 41-year-old online games player decided to take matters into his own hands.
Swapping virtual weapons for a real knife, he tracked down the man who had robbed him of his prized fantasy possession and stabbed him to death.

Mr Qiu is now facing a possible death sentence in a Shanghai court case which has highlighted concern about the social, psychological and economic impact of one of China’s fastest-growing industries.

A spate of suicides, deaths by exhaustion and legal disputes about virtual possessions have been blamed on internet role-play games, which are estimated to have more than 40 million players in China.

And it gets stranger, especially the part about suicide, attempted and successful. (Would you set fire to yourself because someone stole your virtual identity?) I think some of these players need to re-evaluate their priorities.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

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The Discussion: 4 Comments

I wonder what would happen if the virtual identity character commits the suicide…

March 31, 2005 @ 7:11 pm | Comment

In Korea, this has become so serious that they set up a special police unit to deal with it.

Sadly, this is what happens when people become so disinfranchized with their real lives that fantasies seem better. This isn’t a China thing, it is a human thing.

April 1, 2005 @ 10:44 pm | Comment

I propose that we conduct an experiment.

Lets get Bellvue and Bingfeng to duke it out on Everquest. If the looser kills themselves afterwards, we sell the story to a tabliod and rake in the cash.

Better yet, lets force Bingfeng to play an online game as a Japanese character and when he can no longer distinguish between this character’s life and his own life. we kill it with a Chinese character, and see if it induces an irrational hatred of China.

Don’t underestimate how much spending time in a fantasy world can influence you.I certainly know that after watching 50 episodes of Detective Connan back to back, I was unable to tell the difference between myself and a diminutitive Japanese with bad hair and glasses.

There may be another reason for this, but I can’t quite grasp it at the moment.

April 3, 2005 @ 3:37 am | Comment

Unfortunately, the violance soon spills over beyond cyberspace. Read the latest news:

On April 2, a mob of 10,000 angry youth in Chengdu stormed Itoh deparment store (a Japan investment) and ransacked the first floor, in a protest against Japan’s UNSC bid.

http://woooh.com/post/106.html

That takes more than a few online games, but years of ‘patriotic education’ carried out by CCP.

Video: with China’s National Anthem in background, China’s flag waving, rocks shower Itoh store

http://club.cat898.com/newbbs/dispbbs.asp?boardID=1&ID=414760&page=1

How close are we from year 1900?

Sorry Jiang Zemin, looks like you didn’t change China as much as your biographer claims.

April 3, 2005 @ 5:24 am | Comment

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