Everyone has heard of gamers forsaking food, health and society in general for the sole purpose of playing World Of Warcraft.
All in the name of GOLD!… Image Source: Gamerant
The MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) is the world’s biggest online games with has over 11 million players. As with every online game, virtual items are the biggest commodity being traded with virtual gold holding the top spot. Infact, the trading of gold has become such a lucrative business that players have resorted to ‘gold farming’, which is earning gold by repeating a set of tasks multiple times.
While most people engaged in gold farming are looking to make a quick buck, prisoners in Chinese prisons are not so lucky. According to the Guardian, prison guards are forcing prisoners to play the game in order to earn gold, which the guards would later on trade for real money (which is illegal in China). The person in question, Liu Dali said, “Prison bosses made more money forcing inmates to play games than they do forcing people to do manual labour, There were 300 prisoners forced to play games. We worked 12-hour shifts in the camp. I heard them say they could earn 5,000-6,000rmb (Rs.35,000 – Rs. 41,000) a day. We didn't see any of the money. The computers were never turned off”.
The prisoner further added that if they did not complete their daily quota, they would be physically punished, this would include raising their hands in the air, as well as being beaten with plastic pipes. This isn’t an isolated incident. It is estimated that over 80 per cent of all ‘gold farmers’ are based in China and that over $1.97 billion (Rs. 88,965,199,699) were traded in 2008, and the number is steadily increasing.