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.
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.