Virtual game rivalry turns into real death

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Culver City (CA) - One gamer is dead after he and another online gamer turned their virtual rivalry into a real-life fight. A few dozen players of Lineage II, a popular online multiplayer game from NCSoft, met at a Moscow café and began fighting. The group then took the fight outside where Alexander Blyoskin and Alexander Ponamorenko started trading blows. Blyoskin fell to the ground and died several days later from head trauma.

The fight took place on the evening of January 12th and was the result of months of online bickering between Ponamorenko and Blyoskin. Both apparently couldn't stand each other and had been arguing on Internet forums devoted to Lineage II.

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One side says Blyoskin fell to the ground and hit his head, while other witnesses say Ponamorenko stomped on Blyoskin's head. Regardless, Ponamorenko now sits in jail awaiting trail.

Lineage II and I have been extremely popular online multiplayer games with millions of players. While the games do have a substantial following in the United States, Asian and European gamers make up the majority of players. Unlike World of Warcraft, there is no monthly subscription fee to play Lineage.