MISHMASH

多棱镜

The World of Chinese - - Editor's Letter - - DAVID DAW­SON

Grind­ing your way up to that pow­er­ful magic sword is a tough task in most on­line games, re­quir­ing hours of ef­fort hack­ing away. China has seen con­tro­ver­sies over “gold min­ing” by real-life pris­on­ers en­gaged in 9-to-5 jobs in vir­tual worlds, re­sult­ing in vir­tual cred­its be­ing sold for real cash, but re­cently one gam­ing ad­dict swapped gold for lum­ber when he started steal­ing trees to pay for his vir­tual gam­ing habit. No, they weren’t vir­tual trees. Ac­cord­ing to the China Busi­ness View, a 24-year-old Shaanxi man sur­named Fan made about 10,000 RMB (1,440 USD) by steal­ing 686 trees from neigh­bors and sell­ing them, all to buy items in on­line games. Ap­par­ently his vir­tual mag­i­cal items didn’t grant him a stealth bonus, be­cause he was caught while try­ing to flee at a Xi’an train sta­tion.

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