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Court awards real world money for seized virtual assets


As if today's earlier report out of China wasn't enough, here's more wackiness from the wonderful world of Chinese gaming... PlayNoEvil is reporting on a story that first appeared on Pacific Epoch's website about the Chinese gaming company Shanda Interactive. All this gaming goofiness started back in November 2006, when a player (named Zhang) in the game World of Legend first noticed six of his virtual items missing. He complained to Shanda who replied that the items were taken because of a police investigation regarding the sale of stolen virtual items. Well, Shanda failed to return the items once the investigation was over. Bad Move. The player sued the company and was awarded an apology and 5,000 Yuan ($680 US). Zhang originally sued Shanda in the Hunan Qiyang People's Court. Judge Milian wasn't presiding.

But it doesn't stop there. Zhang plans to take Shanda back to court for a whopping 150,000 Yuan (that's a smidgen over $20,000 US) which he claims to have spent on the game over the last five years. That's a lot of Yuan.

It will be very interesting to see what - if any - global legal ramifications come out of this. The fact that virtual things have been given a real world value by a court - even if it is Chinese court - may or may not be a good thing. We'll find out soon I'm sure since we all know the good ole U.S of A. is one seriously sue happy country. I bet there's more than a few people out there just dreaming up ways to sue Blizzard or NCsoft for something.

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