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China Using Prisoners To Farm MMOs


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#1
Omali
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The Guardian is running a story about a whistleblower Liu Dali, who was a prisoner at the Jixi labor camp for three years. Jixi is a forced labor camp where criminals and political dissenters are placed where they do menial, back breaking labor like breaking rocks or carving toothpicks. By day, Dali breaks rocks, and by night he would be forced to play World of Warcraft to farm gold that the prison would later sell.

"Prison bosses made more money forcing inmates to play games than they do forcing people to do manual labour," Liu told the Guardian. "There were 300 prisoners forced to play games. We worked 12-hour shifts in the camp. I heard them say they could earn 5,000-6,000rmb [£470-570] a day. We didn't see any of the money. The computers were never turned off."


"If I couldn't complete my work quota, they would punish me physically. They would make me stand with my hands raised in the air and after I returned to my dormitory they would beat me with plastic pipes. We kept playing until we could barely see things,"


And this isn't just one prison. Dali believes that the prisons throughout north east China are also taking part in forced labor on MMOs including WoW.

It is estimated that 80% of all gold farmers are in China and with the largest internet population in the world there are thought to be 100,000 full-time gold farmers in the country


I guess the lesson to be learned here is don't buy gold from Chinese gold farmers, because if you do you support human slavery. Buy American Posted Image (just kidding, don't buy gold at all)
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#2
K4ylan
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Beating them when they don't make quota is just inefficient. A proper punishment would be to make them play longer.


and anyway, I thought we knew this about Chinese gold farmers already? But as long as there are lazy kids out there, they'll be in business.

#3
Master_Smither
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Jagex may be able to sue and shutdown certain sites that are private enterprises based on gold farming, but it is impossible to shut down prisons, which gold farm. Sounds like a great idea for income though... :mellow:

Just think, other countries are borrowing money from China raised by their very own prison, sweatshots.
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#4
Youmu
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Holy crap, I didn't know sweatshop workers were THIS extreme. :blink:

Luckily Runescape isn't a game known to the Chinese... well, except a select few like me.

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#5
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Why spend money and effort on feeding, clothing and housing slave labourers when you can program a hundred thousand bots to do the work for you? :rolleyes:

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#6
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Lol, i've nothing to say. I'm not surprised though.

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#7
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Why spend money and effort on feeding, clothing and housing slave labourers when you can program a hundred thousand bots to do the work for you? :rolleyes:

Because no one at a prisoner camp is probably even smart enough to know how to use a computer properly :lol:

In all seriousness though, I've always wondered that. They are better off doing manual labor instead of goldfarming tbh.

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#8
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Why spend money and effort on feeding, clothing and housing slave labourers when you can program a hundred thousand bots to do the work for you? :rolleyes:

Because no one at a prisoner camp is probably even smart enough to know how to use a computer properly :lol:

In all seriousness though, I've always wondered that. They are better off doing manual labor instead of goldfarming tbh.


The prison makes more money by making them goldfarm though.
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#9
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I suppose it gives them something to do while they're in prison. I know I wouldn't mind, but then again, personal experience of playing for hours and hours at a time is pretty tiring.

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#10
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I just find it kind of hilarious TBH -- this image of chubby bloated couch potato-esque prisoners being "forced" to play computer games -- as opposed to the physical demand of hard labour ...

:lol:

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#11
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Made me lol, thanks for the article. :thumbup:

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#12
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I just find it kind of hilarious TBH -- this image of chubby bloated couch potato-esque prisoners being "forced" to play computer games -- as opposed to the physical demand of hard labour ...

:lol:

Did you even read the article?

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#13
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I just find it kind of hilarious TBH -- this image of chubby bloated couch potato-esque prisoners being "forced" to play computer games -- as opposed to the physical demand of hard labour ...

:lol:

Did you even read the article?


Why yes, as a matter of fact I did -- didn't you? Shall I read it for you?

Once upon a time in a land far far away, there was this place where bad people went and they banged rocks, fletched chopsticks, read books and played video games. It was all such hard work.

The end.

:rolleyes:

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#14
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I just find it kind of hilarious TBH -- this image of chubby bloated couch potato-esque prisoners being "forced" to play computer games -- as opposed to the physical demand of hard labour ...

:lol:

Did you even read the article?


Why yes, as a matter of fact I did -- didn't you? Shall I read it for you?

Once upon a time in a land far far away, there was this place where bad people went and they banged rocks, fletched chopsticks, read books and played video games. It was all such hard work.

The end.

:rolleyes:


Satire does not become the situation at all. This is a major problem which the public has had at least an idea of in the past - where people who were either poor or enslaved had to do stuff like this.

Truthfully I thought that China had "outlawed" the sale of virtual gold. If prisons are doing this, then it's a pandemic that can't be stopped by simply going to the Chinese government [again] and asking nicely.

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#15
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^^^

You have no idea how insulting that sounds, "working in a coal mine, carving chopsticks, digging ditches, memorizing communist propaganda from dawn until dusk, and gold farming for 12 hours straight" is not the same as a freaking daycare. Also to Sonikku, "It's a big business in China, earning nearly $2 billion in 2008", so I doubt there are many more lucrative things for prisoners to do. Lastly to the ban of selling in-game gold, according to this article "The Chinese government, however, appears to be uninterested in regulating sales of in-game items for real cash. A report in the English-language China Daily says that in-game gear is not considered virtual currency, so selling virtual items can be expected to continue," (Probably to control inflation, since the Q coin has a HUGE impact in China's market); so I suppose they could still make the prisoners gather raw resources.

Edited by ForsakenMage, 01 June 2011 - 11:45 PM.
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#16
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On the contrary, it's a hilarious situation. You've got murderers, rapists and goodness-knows what other types of known criminals who, instead of being punished through hard-labour, are now all huddled in front of computer screens playing video games -- and complaining about it ...

:rolleyes:

Edited by ForsakenMage, 01 June 2011 - 11:45 PM.
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#17
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Further proof that you did not read the article. Not all of these people are the low point of society, "Liu Dali was imprisoned by the Chinese government in 2004 for 'illegally petitioning' it to end the rampant corruption in his hometown. He was sentenced to 3 years at the Jixi labor camp."

Edited by ForsakenMage, 01 June 2011 - 11:46 PM.
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#18
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Oh -- yeah -- how silly of me. Everyone's innocent in prison, right? :rolleyes:

Edited by ForsakenMage, 01 June 2011 - 11:48 PM.
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#19
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On the contrary, it's a hilarious situation. You've got murderers, rapists and goodness-knows what other types of known criminals who, instead of being punished through hard-labour, are now all huddled in front of computer screens playing video games -- and complaining about it ...

:rolleyes:

Not instead of, in addition to.

Did you read the article?

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#20
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WTH :shock:
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