Chinese father hires 'virtual assassins' to kill game-addicted son

A Chinese father found an unusual punishment for his game-addicted son - he hired 'virtual assassins' to kill his son's character online.

The gamer, named as Xiao Feng, 23, was reportedly so hooked on online role-playing games that he refused to find a job.

His father decided that if he was killed by more powerful characters every time he logged on, the youngster would be more likely to find a job.

Mr Feng hired powerful, high-level characters to track and kill his son's character - easily done in most role-playing games by searching for their name.

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Online gaming is very popular in China, where there are few games consoles, but many PC gamers.

The market for 'massively multiplayer' online games is forecast to exceed $6.1 billion in 2012. Online 'battle arena' games such as League of Legends (pictured) are also popular.

Mr Feng's strategy appears to have proved successful, according to reports in Chinese media, via the Kotaku gaming blog.

His son told him, "I can play or I can not play, it doesn't bother me. I'm not looking for any job—I want to take some time to find one that suits me."

Mr Feng was reportedly "relieved" - although it is not clear whether he has called off the assassins yet.

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