Thursday, December 01, 2005

Shake Yer Money Maker!

I was listening to NPR last night, and they were covering a story about virtual reality games. They interviewed a guy who plays War Craft. Apparently you can sign into the game network, and your character wanders around the environment, interacting with other people who are playing on the network. One of the goals of the game is to collect gold and weapons, such as swords. The interviewee was saying that this particular aspect of the game has become a money-making scheme of it's own. Apparently if you obtain gold or weapons, you can sell them on Ebay for actual money. Trading virtual currency for dollars. Amazing.

Of course, it doesn't end on Ebay. From the NPR website article:

There are individuals and groups in Asia and Eastern Europe where people are paid a very low wage to play characters for long hours -- with the sole purpose of making virtual money that will later be converted into real money.

The farmer's character will try to make the most amount of money during his shift -- some are rumored to have quotas. In order to do this, the characters perform certain tasks that are guaranteed to make money -- killing monsters that drop large amounts of money, and going on quests that yield valuable in-game items like weapons and armor.

The farmers then sell their items through online sites.

Anyone else find this strange, and maybe even a little frightening???

1 comment:

sarah said...

Hey I play that game! Lots of fun, very addictive. It is crazy how the farmers work, will eventually be the downfall of the game if it keeps going the way it is. But then wouldn't that be great if they paid high wages in the US to play all day to make the in game money! I would be working lots of overtime.