An Uncautious Auction

by M-Rebeiro

The Legend of Mir is a multiplayer online role-playing game that claims to have 120 million players worldwide.

Being cautious of people you meet online is a good strategy to keep in this age of increased digitization of our lives. This is definitely relevant for Zhu Caoyuan, who was killed by fellow Shanghai Legend of Mir player Qiu Chengwei in a dispute over an in-game item in 2005.

Qiu lent Zhu an extremely rare item he had recently won, known as the Dragon Saber, for Zhu to use on a game-assigned mission. Realizing the value of the item, Zhu promptly sold the sword for more than 7200 Yuan (around $1000) on eBay. Qiu wondered about Zhu’s failure to return his treasured item and later discovered the sale and so approached Zhu in his home.

Zhu allegedly offered to pay him the full sum of money, but Qiu lost patience and stabbed him to death. Prior to this point, Qiu’s ttempts to bring the dispute to the police failed due to an apparent lack of virtual property laws in China. He was sentenced to life in prison on a suspended death sentence, though parents of the victim wish to uphold capital punishment for their son’s killer.

Read more:

Chinese Gamer sentenced to Life | BBC News

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