The cyber sword was not real, but the weapon Qiu Chengwei, 41, used to stab Zhu Caoyuan was really sharp and pointy, a Shanghai court was told.
According to the China Daily, the pair played an online game called the Legend of Mir 3 where one of the things you 'win' are famous unreal swords. Chengwei and a friend won one such weapon last February, and 'lent it' to Caoyuan who flogged it to another player for 7,200 yuan (A$1,129) in real money.
Chengwei reported the theft to the police. We assume that they must have had a philosophical desk sergeant who briefed him on the transubstantial nature of reality and its connection with modern legal methods. In short, he was told that since the sword was not real, it could not have been stolen, ipso facto no crime had taken place, QED?
Still mightily miffed, Chengwei popped around to have a quiet word with Caoyuan who promised to pay him for the sword. During the chat Chengwei lost patience and stabbed Caoyuan in the left chest with great force and killing him. Chengwei gave himself up to police and has already pleaded guilty to intentional injury.
But according to the China Daily, the recent case has highlighted the problems that online gamers are having protecting their cyber property. Some legal boffins are even suggesting that cyber armour and swords in games should be deemed as private property as players have to spend money and time for them. More here. µ
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