Chinese Gold Farming in MMORPGs

I was been bitten once by the World of Warcraft bug myself, but in my case, it was luckily not addictive. Though I’ve never known anyone personally who admitted to buying gold or items from farmers, this New York Times article on the gold farming operations in China claims there is a $1.8 billion trade in virtual items. To become a part of this market, one needs little start-up capital or resources, but a tremendous amount of man hours for it to be profitable, so China’s surplus of labor makes gold farm a good fit. The article is a good overview of the history of virtual item sales, particularly as it relates to current popular games, but it’s look at the human side of China’s gold farming operations is a refreshing and new examination of the issue.