World of Warcraft

We’ve all heard, or have even said to ourselves, “man, I wish I played games for a living!” Well some folks at the Jixi labor camp in the northern province of Heilongjiang, China are probably wishing for anything but to stare at a computer screen playing video games ever again.

According to a 54-year old prisoner from that labor camp, he was forced to play games on the internet in order to build up credit that was traded by his guards for real money. The game in question? World of Warcraft. The prisoner was recently interviewed by The Guardian told his story about being a “gold farmer” in a labor camp.

Apparently, the prison bosses made more money off these guys than the folks who were forced to do manual labor. There were 300 prisoners that were forced to play games, and they all had 12-hour shifts doing the job. The prison bosses were even said to be making $770-924 a day! But the prisoners never saw any of that money go into their own pockets. And if they failed to meet their work quota, they were punished by being forced to stand with their hands raised in the air and were beaten with plastic pipes.

However, an official at the central office for labor camps in Heilongjiang who responded to the prisoner’s story promptly replied, “We do not allow our inmates to do high-risk occupations, such as coal-mining. We do not have large numbers of computers. And we do not allow our prisoners to have any contact with the outside world. If they were playing these online games they could easily communicate with other people. We would never allow that.”

Now we can’t say for sure who is telling the truth here, until we visit one of those camps ourselves. But to folks who indulge in the illegal practice of purchasing gold, this might give you something to think about the next time you’re about to transfer funds to your favorite gold purchasing website. Why not farm for the gold yourself?

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