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Old January 30th, 2014 (4:53 PM).
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If you want a quick rundown on this topic, "gold farming" is a process of playing a game, usually MMORPG, for extended period of time, often repeatedly doing menial tasks, to accrue tons of in-game cash that they sell for real life money. Many gaming companies are against this policy, but regardless, there are hundreds of thousands of people, especially in China, that do this for a living, often under harsh environments.

If you want more details on this, here is an account from one of these so called gold farmers: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/17/magazine/17lootfarmers-t.html?pagewanted=all (Note that the article is a bit old)

Here's couple of questions to ponder about:
-Do you think this sort of microtransaction should be illegal (i.e. unlawful)? If so, do you have any sympathy for often harsh working conditions of gold farmers?
-Do you think this type of business is sustainable?
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Old January 30th, 2014 (5:05 PM).
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As a retired veteran of RuneScape, I have dealt with these kinds of things.

These days, human labor isn't really used, instead they use automatic macro (aka bots) programs that can continually do a task for hours at a time with no human labor. This makes the process really, really easy to do in mass quantity. This usually lead to popular money making methods being overrun with non human bots, crashing prices and making the method unusable for a real player.

This got so bad in RuneScape during 2011, that all prices of the most common ways to make gold crashed from an army of bots being flooded into the game, and most players resorted to illicit ways of attaining wealth such as buying gold from said bots with real cash (I did this at one point, I needed mass amounts of an item but they were impossible to get with all the bots flooding the area, and I was an addicted fool so I gave in), doing high stakes gambling with other players that had the potential to double your cash or lose it all in seconds, it was incredibly luck based, not game controlled so the other player gambling could easily steal your bet, hundreds of thousands of dollars of game gold and items were stolen this way, and stealing wealth from other players by tricking them into going into dangerous areas unknowingly (my irl friend did this, he stole over 5 billion gold from other players, amounting to a little under $2000 US dollars of real life currency). This severely devalued the game for legit players.

Is it sustainable? Well, RuneScape has been around for 13 years or so, and they're still doing it, so I'd say yeah.

This is just the view from one MMORPG.
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Old February 5th, 2014 (8:28 AM).
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Haha I had a friend who played Runescape for about ten years and he was pondering this. I don't think that selling their accounts should be illegal. It's just like selling Microsoft points or doing a service for someone else. If the person is too lazy to do it themselves, and wants to buy their way to the top then why not? That's how a lot of politicians do it. We now have the possibility of buying our followers on social media networks.

I think that we will actually see more of this in the future. MMO's are going nowhere but up. This will be more and more prevalent in a lot of games in the future.
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Old February 14th, 2014 (6:12 AM).
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I never even knew this type of "work" existed other than gaming tournaments paying the players. You guys mentioned RuneScape, which I played almost 10 years, but I was unaware of any micro transactions that was happening \:

Whatever happened to the conventional way of earning money? This seems like an unfair way of earning money as video games are generally seen as a form of entertainment, in my opinion. Some might argue about YouTube gamers as well; they're sitting there making videos from their gameplay and they accrue millions of views. But YouTube videos is a form of art, whereas this so-called "gold farming" seems to have a negative connotation. In terms of if this should be illegal, I personally think it should be, and I would have no sympathy for the workers earning their living that way. They could go out into the environment and find themselves a normal job...That may sound harsh, but that's my perspective.
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Old February 14th, 2014 (7:13 AM).
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Vanille Sky View Post
    I never even knew this type of "work" existed other than gaming tournaments paying the players. You guys mentioned RuneScape, which I played almost 10 years, but I was unaware of any micro transactions that was happening \:

    Whatever happened to the conventional way of earning money? This seems like an unfair way of earning money as video games are generally seen as a form of entertainment, in my opinion. Some might argue about YouTube gamers as well; they're sitting there making videos from their gameplay and they accrue millions of views. But YouTube videos is a form of art, whereas this so-called "gold farming" seems to have a negative connotation. In terms of if this should be illegal, I personally think it should be, and I would have no sympathy for the workers earning their living that way. They could go out into the environment and find themselves a normal job...That may sound harsh, but that's my perspective.
    I agree with you. YouTube is a form of entertainment and they should earn money. If one says they shouldn't, then they are also saying actors shouldn't make money. I think it should be illegal to sell in game cash for real cash unless you are the company who made the game or you are given permission by said company.
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    Old February 14th, 2014 (4:21 PM).
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    Corvus of the Black Night Corvus of the Black Night is offline
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    Illegal is kind of pushing it. Miners usually have very predictable behaviour since they do the same thing over and over again. Detecting and booting a player for it isn't something that's completely impossible, or really that difficult.

    I have never heard of a game that lets you trade virtual currency for actual currency so I can't imagine why the hell anyone would even want to bring legality into it.
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    Old February 15th, 2014 (6:43 PM).
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BadPokemon View Post
    I agree with you. YouTube is a form of entertainment and they should earn money. If one says they shouldn't, then they are also saying actors shouldn't make money. I think it should be illegal to sell in game cash for real cash unless you are the company who made the game or you are given permission by said company.
    Why would being a part of the company that made the game give you a legitimate reason for trading virtual currency for actual money?

    Hypothetically speaking, if it were illegal, it's illegal, end of story. Regardless of who you are or what position you hold. I'm not hating on anybody who engages on such acts, I have no power in stopping it, but I come from a household who works hard for their income and seeing people trading in virtual currencies for actual money is a ridiculous and foreign concept to me. It's the principle of unfairness as virtual money has no relation to the real world. It's a virtual game for a reason, to take people away from the real world and into one that is fictional.
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    Old February 15th, 2014 (6:57 PM).
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    Morgnarok Morgnarok is offline
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    I am not going to lie. I played World of Warcraft between 2008-2013 a average of 12-14 hours daily. I wasn't no gold farmer, I played and earned everything I got and had on my account. If I was to go back to WoW and work as a gold farmer and spend those 12-14 hours a day working instead of gaming, if 100 gold gets you 30 cents I could make a good 18 dollars a hour, 216 dollar per day. Which means 1,516 dollars per week and 6,048 per month. Now hell yes I would do this. The only thing that would make me not want to do it is the fact that it would make the game boring to me and two I doubt I want to sit in a game 12 hours a day, everyday farming one location of mobs all day long for a whole month. I doubt I even last a week before I went insane. I may sit at a computer now 12 hours a day but it is because I enjoy what I am doing and gold farming my friend wouldn't be one of them lol
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