500 Million Dollars, Gold Farming, And A Death Cry

Nearly 500,000 people in developing nations earn a wage making virtual goods in online games to sell to players, a study has found.

Research by Manchester University shows that the practice, known as gold-farming, is growing rapidly….Professor Richard Heeks, head of the development informatics group at Manchester who wrote the report, said gold farming had become a significant economic sector in many developing nations.

“I initially became aware of gold farming through my own games-playing but assumed it was just a cottage industry,” said Professor Richard Heeks from the University of Manchester who wrote the report.

“In a way that is still true. It’s just that instead of a few dozen cottages, there turn out to be tens of thousands.” Prof Heeks said very accurate figures for the size of the gold farming sector were hard to come by but his work suggested that in 2008 it employs 400,000 people who earn an average of $145 (£77) per month creating a global market worth about $500m. But, he said, the true size of the sector was hard to estimate – it could easily be twice as big. – BBC NEWS.

I used to run a video games’ arcade near Pangani in Nairobi – the business was good and the experience quickly made me realise that kids in Kenya nowadays are very much into games. We don’t have a shortage of people who can play games in Kenya. But many of these people who can play games are on the street and unemployed. Why isn’t gold farming working here in Kenya? I think that it can be a significant source of income for young people.

The following video is an in-depth look at the realities of gold farming in China:

Most MMO players hate gold farmers and it is not hard to find “All gold farmers must die” videos on youtube. Mostly, though you get them as all “Chinese” gold farmers must die. I think this is sad, and wrong. People have to realise that different people play for different reasons – some for fun, and some for a living.

When you get people with more money than time and others with more time than money the two will find a way to meet. What do you think?

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