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OK, now, this is just bizarre.

 
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Madhatte
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2006 10:01 am    Post subject: OK, now, this is just bizarre. Reply with quote

I was Googling for that picture where Captain Kirk is screaming "KHAAAAAAN!" and has the text at the bottom, and stumbled across this instead. The plot gets a bit thicker.

Remember There? Well, Second Life is the same thing, basically, only they actively encourage the selling of in-game currency and objects for real money. Of course you've all heard of WOW and EQ accounts being suspended for selling game items on eBay; in this case, there is no reason at all to bother with eBay because the game actually has "ATM" currency converters!

It seems natural, then, that someone, somewhere would open a sweatshop for money-harvesting.

Is this OK?

Discuss.
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Mishlai
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First, I think this belong in general discussion.

The answer depends, I guess. Are "sweatshop" condition that bad if they involve clicking a mouse? The shop must be air conditioned to some extent if only to protect the computers.

I don't think gold farming opens up any new moral questions for offshoring, the same ones exist that would exist for making tennis shoes. It would be harder to enforce regulations perhaps, because a small scale operation could be fairly profitable, and because a purely electronic transaction is difficult to locate for inspections.

Still, I think this kind of thing probably represents an opportunity rather than a bane. I imagine that a small group of ambitious chinese could probably do this for themselves and then sell their booty wholesale to a reseller if they didn't want to work for one of the big shops. It's not like they need a warehouse full of shoe leather to get started. They need time on a PC, a copy of the game, some idea of how to farm efficiently, and a place to sell the goods. Some skill with english would probably help them command a higher price.

I have to laugh at the idea of someone paying chinese laborers to harvest gold for them - I mean, you're paying someone to play the unpleasant parts of your game.

The real travesty here is that this is kind of a failing of the economic system. In theory free markets make sure that capital and labor and other resources are put to good use. Is it a good use of labor to have low wage foreigners play WOW? Could the same enterainment value that 1st world players are looking for be achieved by making adjustments to the game itself? Wouldn't that be more cost effective?

I'm not much into MMORPG, but perhaps the problem - the real problem - is that there shouldn't be any unpleasant bits in a game. It's supposed to be fun.

Most of all I rail against this on the grounds of gamer-ethics. My hope is that the idea of paying for in game advantage will fall out of favor everywhere except in futuristic game-style porn. The world of porn will always be an electronic whore, and there will always be willing johns, but I don't expect this kind of thing in my true gaming experiences.

I play games to escape from the constraints of reality, to play against opponents on a playing field that is not unbalanced by economic class or social station. When you start buying your way though a game, it just isn't a game anymore. You've brought too much of the real world in.

I'll pay for expansions, and I could conceivably pay for unlocking additional content, but buying things that you're supposed to earn just reeks of corruption. It's like playing a game of D&D where the fat kid gets all of the magic items because he buys the DM pizza. Everyone knows it isn't fair, and it ruins the game for everyone but the fat kid.

I won't put up with that for free, and I sure won't pay for it.
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Smitty
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I'll take "The Rapist" for 2000, Alex.
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CrushFearSynth
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I have to laugh at the idea of someone paying chinese laborers to harvest gold for them - I mean, you're paying someone to play the unpleasant parts of your game.

That isn't why they're doing it. They could give a rat's ass about the game itself - they'll probably never even play it once. All they do is pay a group of people 19 cents an hour to farm(usually with unkillable bots), then they gather the data files for all the earnings for that day and sell them over the 'net to the obsessed dumbasses who pay top dollar for them. These guys make, quite literally, millions of dollars every year from this. Regardless of the actual work the laborers are doing for them, they're still making slave wages and still treated like any other sweatshop worker. And that is why they passed very severe laws against this sort of thing in China. Last year they sent 12 people to prison for it.
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Mishlai
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We're talking about the same thing. I just left out the middle man. U.S. gamers (or obsessed dumbasses if you prefer) are, ultimately, paying chinese laborers to play their game for them. Meaning that they don't want to play long enough to earn the gold, they'd rather buy it for dollars.
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CrushFearSynth
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahh. My mistake.

Only the gamers(of any nationality) who pay large amounts of real cash for stuff to add to their characters that they can acquire through play for free(excluding the cost of the game itself, of course) are dumbasses. Scratch that, anyone who pays any amount of money for that crap is stupid.

Wait a sec, you might be onto something. All gamers, myself included, are stupid for shelling out large amounts of cash for what amounts essentially to a bunch of 1's and 0's doing a little dance and making some noise. But whatever.....back to more Hitman.
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