A 19-year-old man from China's Zhejiang province was recently arrested for dealing drugs, which he claims is an effort to earn money for his massive addiction to online gaming.
We're depressingly used to hearing stories of gamers from Asia who have taken the hobby to sad new heights. I can't even count how many times I've reported on a story involving a horrifically dedicated gamer sitting in a net cafe for a marathon gaming session only to die in front of his computer. Stories like that are grim and depressing, but rarely are they chock full of irony; a drug dealer slingin' dope to fund his MMO addiction, however? That's a new one.
According to a report by China's Ningbo Online a 19-year-old man named Mouping Wang was recently arrested for allegedly selling methamphetamine to customers of an internet cafe which Wang frequented. Why did he frequent this particular cafe? Both because that's where his meth-addled buyers were located, and because Wang had an addiction of his own: PvP online battles.
When the police took Wang's statement, he claimed that he was selling drugs specifically to fund his gaming habit. He was a long-time player of a game the report fails to specifically mention, though it's described as heavily-focused on player versus player combat. While Wang had been successful at this game, he wasn't the best, and by selling drugs he hoped to be able to turn his illicit cash into virtual money which would give him a leg up on the competition.
This story would be hilariously ironic, if it wasn't such a depressing cautionary tale. According to Wang's statement, his lust for better online gear was well known at the internet cafe and he was approached by a fellow user of the cafe known as Lao San who convinced Wang to push meth. In what seems like a rather lucrative deal for Lao San, the terms of this agreement only left Wang with a paltry $24 USD for each gram of methamphetamine he sold. I don't have up-to-the-minute pricing data for meth right in front of me, but Wang was pretty blatantly getting the short end of the stick here.
Still, Wang agreed to the arrangement, and as a result of an April 2 police raid he's now housed in a local detention center awaiting trial. The bad news for Wang is that China considers drug dealing to be a pretty sizable offense, and has a history of punishing dealers with execution.