Virtual reality has turned into murder in China after a spat between gamers ended with a man being stabbed to death for 'stealing' a weapon that existed only in an online role playing game.
Qui Chengwei, 41, from Shanghai, had won the 'dragon sabre' in the internet game Legend of Mir III, but decided to lend it to his fellow player Zhu Caoyuan.
The row flared when Caoyuan sold the virtual weapon to anther gamer for £500 without its owner's consent.
Chengwei's pleas to local police fell on deaf ears as it was decided that no theft had legally been committed because the sword did not exist in the physical world.
After hearing this ruling Chengwei broke into Caoyuan's home and stabbed him in the chest.
Chengwei was found guilty of murder and given a suspended death sentence. Subject to two years' good conduct, he will not be executed but will spend the rest of his life in prison.
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