A Chinese gamer has reportedly sued his friend for sell his video game character worth Rs 10 crore for less than Rs 40,000. Lu Mou, who spent nearly 10 million yuan (approximately Rs 10 crore) on developing and customising a character in the game ‘Justice Online’, gave it to his friend Li Mouscheng for playing. However, Mouscheng, who was feeling “dizzy from excessive gaming”, made a mistake and in an attempt to return the character back to Mou, accidentally sold the customised character on the in-game marketplace NetEase for a mere 3,888 yuan (~Rs 40,000).
A judge at the Hongya County Court of Sichuan Province, before whom the case was presented, ruled in favour of Mou. The judge said that that the game character must be returned to the original owner, along with damages of 90,000 yuan (~Rs 9 lakh) to be awarded to the player who bought the character at the discounted price. The local court also issued a warning to people about the dangers of spending too much time playing video games. The incident happened weeks after China passed a new law that put strict restrictions on gamers in an attempt to combat video game addiction in the country. Children below 18 years of age are now banned from playing more than 90 minutes of games per day on a weekday, and more than three hours per day on weekends and holidays.
Authorities at China's General Administration of Press and Publications said that these measures were meant to protect the "physical and mental health of minors". Regulators cited concerns regarding a significant worsening of near-sightedness in children and young adults and rising online gaming addiction due to increasing usage of mobile phones. Incidentally, the new law also reduced the number of money minors can spend online playing games to 200 yuan per month, rising to 400 yuan for those between 16 and 18 years old.