Games can be a source of joy and an escape, but they can also be an immense frustration. That’s especially true of games like League of Legends, where ragers and toxic teammates can make the experience of a loss even less pleasant. But several days ago, one Chinese student in Chenzhou took an LoL loss way too hard and reacted by doing something that few of us would ever even contemplate: murdering his roommate and friend.
The two boys in question were 16-year-old Liu Kai and his 18-year old roommate Li Bo—both names have been changed to protect their true identities—students and roommates at Chenzhou Vocational Technical College. The two were reportedly friends; one of their teachers told reporters that “they were always hanging out together, and had a good relationship.”
(See: Chinese gamer breaks up with her boyfriend for stealing her blue buff)
But on the evening of May 9th, something went wrong. Just after 7 P.M., a member of the dormitory staff noticed blood under the door of Building 6’s room 323 (pictured above sealed with police tape), where they lived. The door was locked, so the employee called the police, who kicked the door in. There, they found Lo Bo’s lifeless body lying in a pool of blood, and Liu Kai sitting in a corner.
“According to the initial investigation, the incident was sparked by a video game,” the school’s spokesman told reporters. The current understanding of what happened is apparently that Liu was playing League of Legends, and after three consecutive losses, his anger got the better of him and he slashed his roommate with a fruit knife. However, the police have not made any formal announcements or confirmed what happened, beyond the fact that Li Bo was murdered and that his roommate Liu Kai is in custody and accused of committing the crime.
Depressingly, the Chinese-language reporting on the subject comes along with testimony from an “expert” about how children like to imitate what they see while playing violent games in real life. While I agree that exposing young children to violent games isn’t a great idea, as my colleague Xairylle once wrote, blaming real-life violence on MOBA games is ridiculous—your kid isn’t going to wake up one day and start laning.
Li Bo’s death is a tragedy, and if Liu Kai is indeed guilty he will serve his sentence. But blaming League of Legends, or gaming in general, for this case strikes me as baseless.
(via Netease Games/Xiaoxiang Morning News)