Thursday, April 07, 2011

Sweatshops and Dragons

Today's Washington Post had an interesting article about the socioeconomics of gold farmers. I was struck by the fact that while the worlds in which the farmers do their work are virtual and do not mirror the outside world, in that whether you are a king or a commoner has nothing to do with your real-world status, in this case there are in fact parallels to the real world, in that wealthier players are outsourcing the grunt work to lower-paid workers overseas.

This reminded me of something I had read some time ago about the booming real estate market in Ultima Online. Sure enough, here are some listings.

As someone who barely has time to blog, let alone go on various quests not involving T-ball or groceries, I am curious as to whether regular online players can recognize gold farmers and how often they are encountered. I know that this very blog counts at least one such person, and there is at least one commenter out there who could shed light on this. Get back to me when you've finished your raiding and pillaging, won't you?


jjv said...

Economic Royalists! as FDR would say.

NickC said...

Gold farmers are fine as long as they stay out of my way and leave me alone. I don't want or need it. Unfortunately, it's not a benign process. The trend is to hack into player's accounts, steal their gold, and resell it to others. Why earn gold in the virtual environment when you can just steal it? If your actions are against TOS either way, in for a penny, in for a pound.