Online games run amok

A Guardian newspaper article that speaks to the sheer magnitude of the online gaming community in China and the degree to which it’s gotten out of control:

A spate of suicides, deaths by exhaustion and legal disputes about virtual possessions have been blamed on internet role-play games, which are estimated to have more than 40 million players in China.

The article highlights the story of one individual who’s facing the death penalty for killing a (real) person for stealing his (virtual) weapon.

4 Responses to “Online games run amok”

  1. Liam says:

    I was under the impression that South Korea was the hands down victor of video games taken to the extreme. The MMOG Subscriber chart for massively multiplayer online games reveals much, World of Warcraft, which is relatively recent and has made news for having a considerable number of subscribers (1.25 million according to the chart) is still less than a third of the games Lineage and Lineage II, which are primarily played by players in South Korea, and to a lesser extent Japan and China.

    From what I’ve read though, the term subscription is much looser for Lineage, in that they have a system which allows people to play for very small intervals of time, primarily in internet cafes. It’s fun to note that every internet cafe I’ve been into has used the Korean cafe management software, with the Korean characters intact.

  2. sieber says:

    If you look at the article, these games are coming from Korea. This is of great concern to the Chinese, who feel they’re losing valuable market share in the online gaming industry. It makes you scratch your head: China wants greater control of a technology in which people commit crimes and suicide?

  3. pete says:

    When your population is over a billion, even fringe groups become significant. China has more on-line players than Canada has citizens.