A Chinese man who extorted virtual items and currency from a fellow Internet cafe user to improve his performance in online games was sentenced over the weekend, local media said.
With three friends, the man beat up the victim and forced him to turn over virtual currency worth 100,000 yuan (US$14,700), China's official Xinhua news agency reported late Sunday. The attackers also extorted virtual equipment for online games from the victim, local media said. The men were each fined and the main attacker sentenced to three years in prison by a court in northeastern Liaoning province.
Selling in-game weapons, armor and other items to players for real-world cash is a common way for China's online gaming companies to a turn a profit. Internet cafes in China are often packed with chain-smoking teenagers who play World of Warcraft or similar Chinese games for long hours.