Some WoW gamers out there are sometimes tempted to buy gold from one of a ton of online WoW gold merchants. If you have the money this may seem like a good idea at first because it will save you time, but what you are actually doing is helping to sustain an industry that is nothing less than a sweatshop for pixels.
A research paper was done by U of C San Diego student Ge Jin, it was titled Chinese Gold Farmers in the Game World. The research paper found that there is exploitation in virtual markets just like there are in tangible markets. Ge went to the Si Chuan Province, Fu Jian Province, and the Dong Bei area to do his hands on research. He found a lot of gold farms. The farms were found all over the places he visited. Ge found small ones and large ones.
The gold farming industry is large and growing, he found its genesis in about 2001. Because of the global demand these farms have grown very fast. Because we are connected via the web, state boundaries are no longer an obstacle, it is this new paradigm that has fed the gold farming industry.
The average gold farm provided meals and dorms, the workers live there, work 12 hour shifts and have quick breaks. Typical farms have about two farmers for every one PC, this allows them to farm for 24 hours straight. The farmers are usually paid from between 40 U.S.D. to 200 U.S.D. monthly. Ge also found farmers that are willing to work for free as long as food and shelter are provided. That was quite a disturbing find.
China is the world's primary source of cheap labor, knowing this it was not surprising to learn how poorly the farmers are treated. Though I am hopeful that in the long run this will change and farmers are paid a wage equal to their labor, it is unlikely until China opens up its market. Let's hope for a happy ending as China slowly integrates into the world economy.
I hope this article enlightens you a little and give you pause next time you consider buying some pixels to enhance your gaming experience. As always, it is just best to take the high road and get yourself a WoW gold guide or walkthrough that will help you get what you want honestly. There are a ton of resources online as well that will greatly enhance your WoW gaming experience, including well reputed online gold guides. Another option is to join a good WoW forum, there you will find other WoW gamers that will be happy to fill you in on some of their favorite tactics to accumulating gold. There are also premium forums that charge a nominal fee that will provide you with well thought out plans to tackle your WoW gold making woes, proven methods, from beginner tactics to advance tactics such as a cornering markets in the Auction House. There's always a better way. Happy gaming!