It’s a new style of pimping.
Instead of selling their bodies, or busting their backs digging ditches, some Chinese prisoners are forced to play World of Warcraft and pass the winnings on to cruel prison guards.
Liu Dali spent three years in one such labor camp, and claims that after a hard day’s work was completed, he and up to 300 of his fellow detainees were forced to make virtual money in online games like World of Warcraft, for the benefit of prison guards. The guards would then use the virtual cash for their own means, including trading it for real-world money. Dali claims he overheard guards bragging that they could make close to $1,000 a day off of the efforts of the inmates, none of which ever made its way into the hands of the workers. He also claims that certain quotas were set, and that those who didn’t raise enough virtual cash would be physically beaten.
Although gold farming, as it is called, was banned a few years ago in China, it still goes on. Although everyone assumes that the prisoners were playing WORLD OF WARCRACK, as we reported a while ago, free MMORGs like PERFECT WORLD are a $5 billion dollar a year business in China–the games are free but many items must be purchased to excel at the games.
Funny old world.
Have a great holiday!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.