In Real Life

Fake Online Romance Leads To Real-Life Manhunt

Online games in China are a big business — so much so that every now and then a company will put out lavish rewards to lure gamers. During the holiday break, a female player decided to defraud a game contest and left a single gamer broken-hearted to win herself an iPad mini, drawing the ire of netizens around China.

In China, online anonymity is slowly becoming nonexistent. Online games require real ID numbers to register, many social networks require real-name verification, and most recently there has been what has been dubbed in China as “human flesh search”.

Basically human flesh search involves net users posting all known details of a person on various message boards until they find a real world connection to said person. Once the subject’s real world details are found, random people who may or may not know the subject will carry out attacks against the subject. The human flesh search was most prominently used during the Chinese Red Cross scandal of 2012.

Well this female player, named Huang, started playing Spicy Jianghu, where she met and “seduced” another player called “Silky”. After a quick online romance, the two decided to get married online.

Silky in real life is a 25-year-old male with no car and no house, which makes him, according to Chinese society, a “loser”. Silky invested everything he had in-game to give real world items to Huang. Silky and Huang entered various promotional contests, and even a newlywed contest, where they won an iPhone 5 and an iPad mini.

Unfortunately for Silky, his online romance was short lived — after Huang had received the iPhone and the iPad, she started ignoring him. Left without his online romance, Silky turned his story into a cautionary tale for other players that sparked a human flesh search of various Chinese netizens searching for Huang’s identity.

It appears Chinese netizens really value romance because Huang was caught. Due to the nature of the gifts, Huang doesn’t have to return any of them, and the game company has no right to void her account. In the end, Silky only received an apology.

女玩家假装结婚骗游戏礼品 分赃不均遭人肉 [Tencent]