Online Gaming Gold Farming
In the world of online gaming, not everyone pays to play. There are a vast number of free games or games that have both a free and paid version. No matter what kind of games you are interested in, there is likely to be a game you will enjoy. While some people play just for the enjoyment, however, others are highly competitive. Just as in almost every other aspect of life, there are always going to be people who will cheat or find ways of cheating, even at free, online games.
Conversely, however, while the game manufacturer will have certain rules or terms of service, players themselves will consider different practices to be cheating. Many massively multiplayer online game (MMO) games require players to find hidden coins to purchase other items in-game. These items are often necessary to level up or perform other tasks that allow you to level up in the game. Just finding the coins alone can be massively time-consuming and most players may only manage to find a coin or two per hour. There are also online manuals or instructions that players can buy, helping them farm gold more quickly. This inability to purchase the coins necessary to succeed in certain games has led to the rise of a practice known as online gaming gold farming. Here is an overview of online gaming gold farming.
What is Online Gaming Gold Farming?
Gold farmers will spend the time it takes to gather or "farm" the coins and then sell them for real money. In some cases, these gold farmers are also "power levelers" that will level up accounts and then sell the accounts online in addition to the gold coins. Other players can either buy the gold coins to use on their own account or just buy a high-level account. Since you find gold the same way and in the same location on each level, these "power levelers" already know the most direct routes to farm the maximum amount of coins. While it may take a novice player several hours just to find a few coins, experienced power levels can farm several coins per hour as they are leveling up an account. Once they have leveled up one account, they sell the coins, sell the account and start all over with a new account. These power levelers may level up several accounts per day and farm hundreds of coins per day.
Why Do People Gold Farm?
It can take some players several hours just to mine a few coins, so in some ways, there is very little money to be made in online gaming gold farming. What makes it lucrative for some, however, is currency exchange and income inequality. Some of the poorest nations also have the weakest currency. Players that have the money to buy gold coins rather than playing the game themselves to farm them often come from wealthier countries that have a stronger currency. Therefore, one of the predominant factors that makes gold farming lucrative are the disparities between currencies. It should be no surprise then that there are gaming factories in China that have dozens, if not hundreds of gamers gold farming and power leveling almost round the clock. At the moment, one US dollar is roughly 7 yen. Outside of the city center, a 3-bedroom apartment can be rented for roughly $600 US dollars per month and a three-course meal for two people at a mid-range restaurant will run less than $25. While gold farming may not be lucrative in the US or any place with a strong economy, it can literally be a gold mine in any country with a weak economy.
Is Online Gaming Gold Farming Illegal?
While gold farming and selling game currency for cash may be a violation of the terms of service of the game, it isn't strictly illegal, nor is it a high priority for any type law enforcement to crack down on, either local or international. Ultimately, gold farming is a relatively green industry that is also not inherently unethical. While any kind of factory labor is going to subject to potentially abusive labor practices, particularly in a largely unregulated country like China, there are also far worse conditions to be working in and worse jobs to do. That being said, gold farming has become such a lucrative industry in China that there have been reports of prisoners in China's re-education camps being forced to farm gold for the benefit of prison officials.
While there may be a few cases of abuse, all in all, gold farming is not likely to be on many watchdog lists or humanitarian radars. In some countries, such as Venezuela, poorer workers are able to supplement their meager incomes and can even feed their families on just a few dollars a day. In many ways, gold farming has created a cottage industry that almost anyone in a developing nation can take advantage of.
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