Julian Dibbell, author of Play Money: Or, How I Quit My Day Job and Made Millions Trading Virtual Loot, explains the business applications of “real-money trading” and why “gold farming isn’t just another outsourced job.” From New York Times Magazine:
It was an hour before midnight, three hours into the night shift with nine more to go. At his workstation in a small, fluorescent-lighted office space in Nanjing, China, Li Qiwen sat shirtless and chain-smoking, gazing purposefully at the online computer game in front of him. The screen showed a lightly wooded mountain terrain, studded with castle ruins and grazing deer, in which warrior monks milled about. Li, or rather his staff-wielding wizard character, had been slaying the enemy monks since 8 p.m., mouse-clicking on one corpse after another, each time gathering a few dozen virtual coins ” and maybe a magic weapon or two ” into an increasingly laden backpack.
Twelve hours a night, seven nights a week, with only two or three nights off per month, this is what Li does ” for a living. [Full Text]
See more CDT content on “gold farming”.