Qing Xu Wei is also known as 5173. He makes his living powering up players’
characters when they are asleep or at work. Doing this, he earns more than he did
working in the insurance business.
A Chinese factory employs gamesters to play through the boring early stages of computer
games (MMORPG or Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games), killing monsters
and collecting virtual “gold coins” that they can sell for real cash to customers
only interested in the challenge of a developed game. “For 12 hours a day, seven days
a week, me and my colleagues are killing monsters,” said one 23-year-old worker, known
as a “gold farmer”. “I make about $250 a month, which is pretty good compared to the
other jobs I’ve had.” According to DFC Intelligence, which tracks online gaming, the
market as a whole makes $3.6 million a year.
The BBC has posted an article about the aspects of gold farming. In the article, a
news journalist visited Asia to document the daily life of a gold farmer. There are
photos and quotes that illustrate real life gamers to their online counterparts, in
addition to gold farmers’ conditions and meager pay. In a larger picture, the article
also discusses the culture of online gaming and its consequences.
Buying and selling gaming items such as imaginary weapons is a booming business on
the web. The internet games section of Ebay saw more than $9m (£5m) in trades in 2003
Earlier this year, a Shanghai online gamer was given a suspended death sentence for
killing a fellow gamer when he found out the friend had sold his virtual sword, which
he had lent him, for 7,200 yuan (£473).
This guy has far too much info on the subject: Click
BBC article: Click here