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Gold Farming is a practice seen in the world of online video games.
It refers to the practice of excessively playing online games, carrying out mundane or simple tasks, in order to build up virtual currency or assets. The virtual bounty is then sold on in exchange for real money to other gamers.
In China, some estimates have put the number of people who use Gold Farming at around 100,000.
The amount that a player can receive for exchanging virtual goods for real cash varies widely based on the game itself and other factors. The subject is controversial, since playing video games for such long periods of time can have detrimental effects on a person's health.
In one case, the media reported that prisoners at a Chinese labor camp were being forced to play online games at night by the guards. The prisoners would run up credits and the guards would then sell them for real money. They would punish individual prisoners who did not manage to hit a quota that was set for them.