If you had any doubts about how serious gaming addiction can be — and you shouldn’t, given the number of game-related murders we’ve written about recently — here’s a terrifying story that will set you straight.
24-year-old Guangdong resident Xie Huachang met his girlfriend “Xiao Hui” (not her real name) in March of 2011 while playing games online. The two hit it off, and by year’s end they were living together. But Xie was not just a gaming enthusiast, he was a fanatic, and his devotion to games started causing friction. By March of 2012, Xiao Hui had given up on the relationship and met a new boyfriend online, and in May, she decided to move to Shenzhen to be with him.
Unfortunately, she was still living with Xie, who wasn’t happy about the breakup or her impending departure. One morning in June, as she packed her things to leave for good, he stood in the doorway tearfully begging her not to go. When she refused, his sadness turned to anger. Xie grabbed her by the throat and threw her onto the bed, continuing to strangle her until she had stopped moving and her face had turned purple. She was dead.
Rather than turning himself in or fleeing, Xie then stole Xiao Hui’s bank card and hid her corpse under the bed. He took 300 RMB ($47) out of her account from a nearby ATM, and went to an internet cafe to play video games. He spent the night there, but at around seven the next morning he returned to the room and slipped Xiao Hui’s card back into her wallet. Then he went back to the internet cafe to play more games.
Around noon, he suddenly felt like committing suicide, and went to jump off the roof of a relative’s building before thinking better of it. He sent two text messages, one confessing to the police, and the other to Xiao Hui’s new boyfriend, informing him that she was dead. Two hours later, he was in police custody.
Xie’s case finally came to a close in court this month, and he was sentenced to life in prison. He was also ordered to pay a sum of restitution to Xiao Hui’s family. His regretful attitude about his crime is apparently responsible for his rather lenient (by Chinese standards) sentence, but his case is yet another indicator of the extreme lengths addicts will sometimes go to get a fix. Xie’s gaming addiction sabotaged his relationship with Xiao Hui, and the pull of games was apparently so strong Xie’s response to having committed murder was to steal his dead girlfriend’s money so he could play games for a full 24 hours before much else even occurred to him.
(Guangzhou Daily via QQ Games, image from the film Bangkok Haunted 2: The Unborn)