A Chinese man with a gaming addiction has been convicted of murdering his girlfriend in a jealous rage and, after doing the deed, using her credit card to buy more time playing games.
Guangzhou Daily last week reported the case of one Xie Huachang, a Guangdong resident whose girlfriend decided to leave him after she found he paid more attention to games than to her. The girlfriend met another man online and planned to move to Shenzhen to be with him. When Xie found out, he flew into a murderous rage, choking her to death.
Xie’s next move was to steal his girlfriend’s credit card, withdraw money from her account and use the proceeds fund an all-night gaming binge at a nearby internet café.
The next day, however, remorse set in and after a brief flirtation with suicide Xie turned himself in.
He’s since expressed remorse and been sentenced to life in prison, a sentence considered lenient as the death penalty was possible.
The murder took place in 2011 and Guangzhou Daily says the trial took place in mid-2012. China’s courts aren’t always punctual publishers, one possible explanation for the delay. Another is that Chinese authorities have form in trying to portray gaming addiction as degenerate and undesirable, making a retelling of the tale at any time a further illustration of that position.
The writers and editors – within and without the ‘paper – may also have wanted to make a point about cohabitation. Pre-marital sex is no longer taboo in China, but moving in with a boyfriend/girlfriend is still looked down upon by many. This sordid tale could serve to re-enforce the undesirability of shacking up. ®