MTV has posted a brief, but revealing look at life within China's gold farming "workshops." Sales of virtual goods will reportedly reach $9 billion by 2009, overtaking sales of actual games, but at the expense of hundreds of thousands of exploited workers, who may earn as little as 500 Yuan per month (roughly $65). The featurette, taken from a documentary in-progress, turns a critical eye toward brokers like Interactive Game Entertainment (IGE), which allegedly support China's so-called sweatshops.
MTV also has an interview with filmmaker Ge Jin, which provides further insight into the range of conditions one might experience working as a gold farmer. As it turns out, many of these "factories" are not as perilous as we imagine.