Anyone who has ever played an MMO in the last 10 years has seen the spam adds from bots offering to sell in-game gold for real-world money. Apparently, Chinese prisons have been forcing prisoners to make this gold, all to the prison’s profit.
You may not sell in-game items or currency for “real” money, or exchange those items or currency for value outside of the Game. – Blizzard
The buying and selling of in-game gold, or other items, is a trade that is illegal in the gaming community. It has recently been reported though that Chinese prisons are using the prisoners that are locked up in order to harvest gold and other items in order to profit with real-world money. These prisons would force the detainees to work through hard, physical labor through the day, and 12-hour sessions of gaming at night. While this may not seem to bad to some, think again. Prisoners were punished for not meeting a quote of gold. A prisoner, who goes by the pseudonym Liu Dali, was imprisoned from 2004-2007 and told reporters that, “If I couldn’t meet my work quota, they would punish me physically.”
While gold-farming is extremly frowned upon by the community and by Blizzard, some choose to use it in order to advance their characters in the game at a quicker pace. This is completely ignored by these Chinese gold-farmers. While the prisoners had no choice in the manner, many farmers choose to do it simply to make quick money, as the business is quite lucrative. It derives it’s lucrative style from the simple fact that it is incredibly hard to regulate in an online market place. These 12-hour sessions are certainly not uncommon, as many gold-farmers come from over seas, a place where other nations’ laws cannot always influence their business, and obtain jobs where they must sit and do this mundane task for hours, if not days, on end. It truly is a pity that something so bad for a game could continue to persist, but one must hope that it is something that can soon be changed.
Via: PC Mag