Chinese Gold Farmers

When I was in Highschool, one of my best friends "B" got sucked into a game known as "Ultima Online". Most people didn't understand how he and others could spend hours upon hours at there computers running around in a virtual game world, repeating actions over and over again in the attempt to amass some kind of Virtual prestige; nights would be spent chopping at trees in order increase virtual strength, hours spent firing virtual arrows into virtual targets, to increase the archery skill. Clans formed and the requirements often meant that it's members would have to login at late or early hours to participate... It seemed almost cultish.
At the end of B's time with Ultima Online, he advertised his Account on Ebay, and suprisingly enough made a large sum of money for it. If I remember correctly, over 1000$, I was shocked... In the years since Ultima Online, many more competitors have come along, even more addicting and exciting, currently the MMPOG (massive multi-player Online Game) world is split between two camps, World of Warcraft and Guild Wars, Both hugely popular in the gaming world, there is even another one marketed towards a more adult crowd called Second life, where your real world money is transferred over and can buy virtual items, which can be traded and bought just as they can in the real world. Scary hu? Now check out this documentary, about Chinese "Gold Farmers", Basically, it's a business that revolves around playing these games round the clock, buffing up a character, and then turning around and selling the account for big bucks to fat rich Americans who don't have the time to actually play the game and get good themselves... I don't even know how I feel about this one. But I bet it's a way better job than working in some factory making all that other shit we buy.

Check out these articles related to World of Warcraft:

World of Warcraft community page
Gamasutra article on what WoW teaches us
C|net News: business Lessons of WoW

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I traded my tetris account for a Chinese guy. So I guess everything comes full-circle.