nettime's virtual undertaker on Thu, 31 Mar 2005 22:28:11 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Online gamer stabbed over cyber-sword

Online gamer stabbed over cyber-sword
By Reuters

Story last modified Wed Mar 30 13:57:00 PST 2005

BEIJING--A Shanghai online game player stabbed to death a competitor who sold 
his cybersword, the China Daily said Wednesday, highlighting a dilemma in 
China where no law exists for the ownership of virtual weapons.

Qiu Chengwei, 41, stabbed competitor Zhu Caoyuan repeatedly in the chest after 
he was told Zhu had sold his "dragon saber," used in the popular online game 
"Legend of Mir 3," the newspaper said a Shanghai court was told Tuesday.

"Legend of Mir 3" features heroes and villains, sorcerers and warriors, many 
of whom wield enormous swords.

Qiu and a friend jointly won their weapon last February, and lent it to Zhu 
who then sold it for 7,200 yuan (US$870), the newspaper said.

Qui went to the police to report the "theft" but was told the weapon was not 
real property protected by law.

"Zhu promised to hand over the cash but an angry Qui lost patience and 
attacked Zhu at his home, stabbing him in the left chest with great force and 
killing him," the court was told.

The newspaper did not specify the charge against Qiu but said he had given 
himself up to police and already pleaded guilty to "intentional injury."

No verdict has been announced.

More and more online gamers were seeking justice through the courts over 
stolen weapons and credits, the newspaper said.

"The armor and swords in games should be deemed as private property as players 
have to spend money and time for them," Wang Zongyu, an associate law 
professor at Beijing's Renmin University of China, was quoted as saying.

But other experts are calling for caution. "The 'assets' of one player could 
mean nothing to others as they are by nature just data created by game 
providers," a lawyer for a Shanghai-based Internet game company was quoted as 

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