The people working at this clandestine locale are "gold farmers." Every day, in 12-hour shifts, they "play" computer games by killing onscreen monsters and winning battles, harvesting artificial gold coins and other virtual goods as rewards that, as it turns out, can be transformed into real cash.So the Chinese peasants go from farming the fields to gold farming. Seems like a logical progression.
That is because, from Seoul to San Francisco, affluent online gamers who lack the time and patience to work their way up to the higher levels of gamedom are willing to pay the young Chinese here to play the early rounds for them.
"For 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, my colleagues and I are killing monsters," said a 23-year-old gamer who works here in this makeshift factory and goes by the online code name Wandering. "I make about $250 a month, which is pretty good compared with the other jobs I've had. And I can play games all day."
With more than 100 million people worldwide logging on every month to play interactive computer games, game companies are already generating revenues of $3.6 billion a year from subscriptions, according to DFC Intelligence.
That has spawned the creation of hundreds - perhaps thousands - of online gaming factories here in China. By some estimates, there are well over 100,000 young people working in China as full-time gamers, toiling away in dark Internet cafes, abandoned warehouses, small offices and private homes.
In a way this is so silly. Why have people spend hours and hours creating a level 60 character, when the game developers could just create one with the click of a mouse. Or better stated, why don't the game companies sell level 60 characters directly and get the money for it?
I always thought the fun in these games was creating a new character and building them up. Why in the world would you want to outsource the best part?
Via New York Times