Virtual Property Theft ? Physical Murder
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Date posted: 01/04/2005
Posted by: Site Administration
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Hands up who saw this one coming? That?s right, you can all put your hands down now. Virtual property, existing only in a database server, has long been a hot topic in virtual reality, as to who actually owns it. Now, this case has reached a new level, with the murder of a man accused of stealing a virtual sword.

Legends of Mir 3, a popular Asian MMO, with over a half million regular subscribers, has now been embroiled in controversy after Shanghai player Qiu Chengwei fatally stabbed player Zhu Caoyuan, after Caoyuan sold a sword (dragon sabre) shortly after Chengwei lent it to him.

The virtual sword was sold for 7,200 yuan (about?460 or $700), without permission, and when Mr Chengwei reported this theft to the police, he was told the weapon was not real property.

Although Mr Caoyuan said he would hand over the money from the sale of the sword, Mr Chengwei lost patience and attacked him in real life. Caoyuan was stabbed with "great force" in the left chest, killing him.

Mr Chengwei has given himself up to police and confessed to "intentional injury" but it is not clear what he has been charged with.

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