This story is from the category Life
Date posted: 03/09/2008
Nearly 500,000 people in developing nations earn a wage making virtual goods in online games to sell to players, a study by Manchester University has found.
The industry, about 80% based in China, employs about 400,000 people who earn ?77 ($40us) per month on average.
Professor Richard Heeks, head of the development informatics group at Manchester who wrote the report, said gold farming had become a significant economic sector in many developing nations.
"I initially became aware of gold farming through my own games-playing but assumed it was just a cottage industry," said Professor Richard Heeks from the University of Manchester who wrote the report.
"In a way that is still true. It's just that instead of a few dozen cottages, there turn out to be tens of thousands."
Prof Heeks suspects gold-farming might be an early example of the "virtual offshoring" likely to become more prevalent as people spend more time working and playing in cyberspace.
"It is also a glimpse into the digital underworld," he said. "Or at least the edges of a digital underworld populated by scammers and hackers and pornographers and which has spread to the "Third World" far more than we typically realise."
See the full Story via external site: news.bbc.co.uk
Most recent stories in this category (Life):
17/09/2014: Do wearable lifestyle activity monitors really work?