A chinese gamer who killed a fellow gamer, in real life, over a virtual item from the game has been sentenced to life in prison, with the possibilty of parole in 15 years. The sentence is actually a suspended death sentence under Chinese law.

The story goes like this: Mr. Qui lent Mr. Zhu a Dragon Sabre won in the game Legend of Mir 3. Mr. Zhu subsequently sold the sword for 7,200 Chinese Yan. Mr. Qui subsequently broke into Mr. Zhu’s house and stabbed Mr. Zhu to death.

Admittedly this is a regrettable incident, but it does raise the issue of whether in game property is personal property, or merely data bits stored on someone else’s computer.

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Ponderous: In-game virtual property
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