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Chinese prison hard labor includes MMO gold farming

first_imgVisit any prison and the residents will be doing some form of work to help pass the time and pay off their debt to society. But for the most part that work involves menial tasks that are both legal, and come under the heading of jobs no one else really wants to do.In China, that includes hard labor in the form of mining, making parts for cars, or carving utensils out of wood for hours every day. But there’s also another, much more modern way the prisoners are being used to earn money, and its not exactly legal.AdChoices广告Liu Dali, a 54-year-old former prison guard, and former inmate of a Jixi, Heilongjang province labor camp, has spoken of how he was forced to play online games. The staff running the prison would put the prisoners to work gold farming in a number of different MMOs, which would in turn be converted into real-world cash.Each prisoner would be given a quota they had to achieve every day in the game they were assigned. Not meeting the quota would mean physical harm with plastic pipes, so you can imagine they got good at farming very quickly.While Dali and his fellow inmates were struggling to stay awake and keep focused on the game, the prison guards were earning as much as $900 every day through trading of the virtual goods for money.Although game developers and publishers try to stop gold farming from happening by regularly banning accounts, for the most part its difficult to stop when it’s a real person playing the game. It also seems to be growing in popularity, and even though Dali was released in 2004, he still believes the practice goes on to this day making for some very well-off Chinese prison guards.Read more at the Guardian (image courtesy of Flickr)last_img read more