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Chinese prisoners forced to play games to earn credits for guards

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 26 May 2011 20:10 User comments (12)

Chinese prisoners forced to play games to earn credits for guards Prisoners in Chinese labour camps were forced to play online games for hours to make money for the guards.
The practice of excessively playing online games to build up virtual currency (or other virtually valuable assets) is known as "gold farming", and it is particularly rampant in China where estimates put as many as 100,000 gold farmers throughout the region.

Liu Dali, a former prisoner of the Jixi labour camp, used to have to break rocks, dig trenches and other manual hard labour by day, and then was forced at night to play online games to build up virtual credits which the prison guards would then trade for real money.

"Prison bosses made more money forcing inmates to play games than they do forcing people to do manual labour," Liu told the Guardian. "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 [470-570] a day. We didn't see any of the money. The computers were never turned off."

Even though playing games excessively is not as physically demanding on the human body as the hard manual labour he was forced to endure, he revealed that there were real consequences for not managing to fill a "quota" for the guards.

"If I couldn't complete my work quota, they would punish me physically. They would make me stand with my hands raised in the air and after I returned to my dormitory they would beat me with plastic pipes. We kept playing until we could barely see things," he said.

By completing basic low-reward tasks repeatedly in online games, such as World of Warcraft, a player can build up masses of credits. The trade of these credits in the real world is skyrocketing, and the games' makers don't really know how to handle it.

Tags: China
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12 user comments

126.5.2011 21:56

that's just screwed up, at least give them something fun to play. the same said equivalent would be locking up an inmate in the hold and playing the mr. rogers "its a wonder full day in the neighbor hood" intro music for 1 week strait.


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226.5.2011 22:32

Seems a good bit better than breaking rocks with a sledge hammer if you ask me...and it is great proof that communism is dead, at least in china.



327.5.2011 1:05

So China prison guards are the gold farmers, no wonder i see trade chat spammed so much by gold farmers, no wonder i have to buy an authenticator, they more then likely have hackers as well hacking people accounts to get gold to sell, but isn't much you can do about it, Blizzard has already gone after pay pal accounts for it, but soon as one goes down, up goes another. Any WoW related site has an ad for a gold farmer. It sucks but it's one of those things that's hard to regulate.

427.5.2011 4:45

Blizzard needs to start selling gold...undermining all the farmers, and saving a lot of server bandwidth. It would be a nice payday too...and it isn't like they would change the user experience much; people can buy gold anyway.



527.5.2011 4:52
pupnelson
Inactive

what is happen??Forced? The game is to be voluntary.


A novel is a mirror walking along a main road .

627.5.2011 7:11

The problem comes from those people who simply cash out to get what ever they want in a game.

Bit like killing animals for fur if people didn't buy the stuff then there'd be no money in it, therefore no one would bother doing it.

Just the same reason someone will mug someone for the wallet that hopefully has cash in it.

If money can be made via doing something then it'll happen.

727.5.2011 12:42

No no no no no NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

Please don't make me play Battlefield BC2 for hours on end. Please NOOOOOOOO, the horror ;)

827.5.2011 12:43

Originally posted by pupnelson:
what is happen??Forced? The game is to be voluntary.


BTW.......you're signature is cryptic and lame.

927.5.2011 15:17
corrector
Unverified new user

Originally posted by KillerBug:
Seems a good bit better than breaking rocks with a sledge hammer if you ask me...and it is great proof that communism is dead, at least in china.
used to have to break rocks, dig trenches and other manual hard labour by day, and then was forced at night to play online games to build up virtual credits which the prison guards would then trade for real money.

1027.5.2011 18:35

I love this story. :D


Oh, Im sorry... Did the middle of my sentence interrupt the beginning of yours?

1127.5.2011 19:03

I would just get rid of the game. And that will stop it.

1228.5.2011 12:46

Originally posted by KillerBug:
Blizzard needs to start selling gold...undermining all the farmers, and saving a lot of server bandwidth. It would be a nice payday too...and it isn't like they would change the user experience much; people can buy gold anyway.
They should go to a "free to play" format like DODOnline has. Free to play the basic game but can buy all kinds of stuff from them including gold and expansions...


Just my $0.02,

dEwMe

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