Father hires assassins to deal with son… virtually

GUANGZHOU, CHINA – Xiao Feng, a 23-year-old man obsessed with the World of Warcraft video game, was failing at school and had no intentions of looking for a job. His father said “enough is enough” and decided to seek some help.

World of Warcraft is a multi-player online game set in a fantasy land. With over 10 million subscribers it’s also becoming an incubator of new professions. The virtual hit man is one of them. One day, Xiao Feng noticed his characters were being killed one by one. With an overwhelming frustration Xiao Feng decided it didn’t make any sense to start playing the game all over again. That’s exactly what his father had in mind when he hired expert players to put an end to his son’s addiction.

The game offers different parental control settings to limit the time kids spend in front of the screen. Adult players, on the other hand, will have to rely on their own ability to grow up.

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1 Comment

  • Knonfodder

    This is lazy, shabby journalism at best, even by Newsfix standards. The story raises several red flags to any with critical analysis skills or even a passing knowledge of the game in question, so much so that it has the reek of urban legend–I'm surprised the tale didn't end with someone finding a hook stuck in a car.

    First: what school was this generic 23-year old man failing, his masters or doctorate program? Was he going to law school? Was he so miserable that he was taking 11th grade for the seventh time or learning to fix air conditioners or assemble ipods? It makes little sense.

    Red flag #1.

    Second: Why is there no source for the story? Where was it reported (and by whom)? Why and how does anyone know about some lone adult in China who happens to like playing online video games? How does this become news? I genuinely doubt the father, a stock figure so generic he doesn't even have a name or any factual details, decided to call an AP office in communist China and inform them of his crafty ploy.

    By your own acknowledgment, World of Warcraft has a player base of roughly ten million people. You can add a few million more players if you include the other MMO games out there. MMO players are as diverse as actress Mila Kunis, newly elected Maine state senator Colleen Lachowitz, and the late U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith, who was killed in the Benghazi, Libya attacks, and was also an ardent EVE online player… but you want to tell us a story with no factual support that promotes the stereotype of the gamer as lazy and irresponsible. This from a website that will probably do more stories about Al Roker's incontinence than the debt ceiling debate.

    Red flag #2

    Third: Anyone with even the smallest experience with the game knows the scenario as you describe it is virtually (pun intended) impossible. Death in World of Warcraft, even on servers that encourage player vs. player combat, is nothing more than a momentary setback and is actually an intended component of the game's mechanics. After dying, the player's avatar appears in ghost form in one of the various, strategically placed graveyards throughout the virtual world. They "run" back to the location where they "died", resurrect, and resume play.

    As you describe it, these "assassins" would do little more than inconvenience the player by a few seconds.

    Red flag #3.

    I've now gone on longer than most of your articles, so I'll finish with this: I'll continue to read Newsfix for hot breaking stories about waterskiiing squirrels and people who can do weird things with their faces, but when it comes to cheap shots at the gaming community masquerading as news… I think I'll pass.