Selling in-game currency for real money is a shady (and illegal) practice that is unfortunately rampant in certain countries, such as China. Companies hire large groups of low-waged workers to endlessly gather in-game gold for many popular MMOs, such as World of Warcraft. Well the latest gold-farming scandal is coming from reports that prisoners in Chinese labor camps are being forced to gather resources in on-line games. Apparently, the money that the prison bosses can rake in from these illegal online transactions are more lucrative than the income from manual labor.
An interviewed prisoner had this to say: "There were 300 prisoners forced to play games. We worked 12-hour shifts in the camp. 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.”
Prison officials are denying the accusations stating: “We do not have large numbers of computers. And we do not allow our prisoners to have any contact with the outside world. If they were playing these online games they could easily communicate with other people. We would never allow that.”
Are we the only ones who find it interesting that they vehemently deny the gold-farming claims, but ignore the beating prisoners with plastic pipes part? [via Telegraph.co.uk]