Gold farming comparison
Today we have been comparing articles on gold farming against a fictional book written by Cory Doctorow.
In the fictional story the author writes about 3 different people who take part in gold farming to earn real-world money. The story mentions a boy, Matthew, from China, who works alone to earn money by gold farming. Matthew would earn money by completing in-game raids expertly and efficiently to earn to the max amounts of coins available and then selling them on.
However Matthew ran into a spot of trouble after his 8 PC-setup was destroyed by people who can only assume guards of a sweat shop, didn’t take too kindly to him ‘cheating the system’.
The story also mentions another boy, Wei Dong, who lives in America but wakes up in the middle of the nights so he is able to play with his friends from China and earn money together. The way Wei Dong and friends earnt money was simple, they all had high-levelled characters and would charge lesser experienced users (noobs/ gweilos) to play with them and complete quests together so they could gain additional XP and unlockables.
I found this story to be quite realistic as it went into huge amounts of details when describing the online games and when doing some more research on gold-farming, the methods used were exactly the same, even the attention to detail was impressed as it thought to be that around 80% of all gold-farmers are located in China, the story doesn’t necessarily say this but so far China has been mentioned quite alot with Matthew living there and Wei Dong playing with his Chinese friends.
There is alot of money to be made…
The total wealth generated from virtual economies is estimated to be between £4.3bn and £7.4bn, similar to the GDP of Malta or Iceland. According to a 2007 New York Times article, Chinese gold farmers tend to work 12 hour shifts, seven nights a week in order to raise gold for sale online. Their pay is approximately 18 pence per hour.
In some cases people will spend thousands of pounds on in-game purchases, the guiness world record for this stands at £391,600 ($635,000). This was for the purchase of a virtual planet within Entropia Universe.