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An online game player has been charged with killing a competitor in a dispute over a virtual weapon used in the fantasy game, a news report said Wednesday. Qiu Chengwei, 41, went on trial Tuesday in a Shanghai court on charges that he stabbed to death Zhu Caoyuan, a fellow player of a popular game called “Legend of Mir III,” the China Daily newspaper said. If convicted, Qiu could face a possible death sentence, the report said. Qiu confronted Zhu after learning that he sold the virtual weapon lent to him by Qiu to another player, the newspaper said. It said Qiu reported the loss of the “Dragon Saber” to police but they said it wasn’t real property protected by the law. Prosecutors said Zhu promised to hand over the 7,200 yuan (US$870; euro670) that he received but Qiu grew impatient and attacked Zhu at his home, stabbing him repeatedly in the chest, the report said. Qiu surrendered to police and claimed he didn’t mean to kill Zhu, the China Daily said. Such online fantasy games are hugely popular in China, attracting tens of millions of players. Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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