26/08/2008

Gold farms -sweat shops of the virtual world.

On Gold Farmers of the Game World.

It is amazing to see how entrepreneurs exploit opportunities and legally(?) profit by gaming the system.
Ge Jin,from University of California, San Diego has produced a paper on the Chinese Gold farmers in the Game World way back in 2006.
In it he says,
"In China, there is a new kind of factory that hires young people to play online games like World of Warcraft and Lineage day and night. The gaming workers produce in-game currency, equipment, magic spells and even whole characters, which are sold to players from the US, Europe, South Korea and Japan etc. who want to raise their level in the game world immediately. The people who play games for real money trade are called "gold farmers" in the game world. Since gamers often refer to the Chinese gaming workers as "Chinese farmers" and the gaming factories as "gold farms."
Now the very same industry has grown to a $500million industry.There are those who argue that as gold farming is a borderline illegal activity its revenues are impossible to estimate and the true size of the market may well be over $1 billion.


Technorati Tags     ,,,