Chinese man purchases a virtual video game sword at an auction for $16,000

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Chinese man spends $16,000 on a virtual sword

To mark the launch of their martial arts video game, Age of Wulin, software developers Snail Games held an online auction in which users could place bids on exclusive in-game items. Some purchased pre-paid time cards for $15, others bid on $30 enhancement materials, and then, of course, you had your typical gamer dropping $16,000 for a virtual sword. For the love of the game, amirite? 

Well, for the love of the nonexistent game — Age of Wulin hasn't been released in Mainland China yet. Snail Games' auction was held to celebrate the launch of the highly anticipated MMORPG, or massively multiplayer online role-playing game (duh). Thus, all the bidders spending money on exclusive Wulin accoutrement, like the $1,600 "Hook of Departure" and the $2,500 "Lordly Spear Sheath",  haven't played or seen the game yet. That kind of blind faith and excitement in something is dangerous — there's a good chance that the game can turn out to be a dud, like Duke Nukem Forever (or like when I lost my virginity).

In return for his $16,000, the Chinese gamer received a framed depiction of his one-of-a-kind weapon and, from the looks of it, those pixels weren't worth the splurge. I mean, that's no Hattori Hanzo sword. 

The English version of Age of Wulin is expected to be released in Spring 2012.