Friday, January 30, 2009

Gold Farming in the digital age

Ever heard of 'Chinese Gold Farmers'? Read on.

Check out the following documentaries which investigate gaming workshops in China that hire people to play online games like World of Warcraft. The workers, called 'Gold Farmers' by Westerners, sweat it out in front of their consoles to collect virtual currency, equipments and produce whole characters, which are then sold for nifty amount to other players over ebay or trade portals.

Why does this industry exist? Well, because not everyone who wants to enjoy the game can spend insane amounts of time collecting virtual money and building their armory. Thus, many prefer to just buy characters and virtual currency from people who have already done the hard work.

Check out this link to get a taste of the amount of money involved in gold trade. To quote a price from the site, 30000G (i.e. in-game currency) is valued at 494USD. That is almost 60G per dollar.

People also trade characters. Some websites which i found out are

BBC News Coverage of this phenomenon