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New legislation in China outlaws gold farming

James Egan

Gold farmers. We know you hate them... We know. And we've mentioned the associated gold spam as being the bane of many MMO players' existence a number of times in the past. But is the situation ever going to change?

Perhaps, given the new legislation coming out of China this week. Of course while all gold farmers certainly aren't based in China, a substantial percentage of gold farming operations are in fact run from the country. Such operations may now find themselves under greater scrutiny by the Chinese authorities; the government has now established its first official rule on the use of virtual currency in China.

Essentially, it states that virtual currency cannot leave the sphere of influence of its issuer. (Exact wording: "The virtual currency, which is converted into real money at a certain exchange rate, will only be allowed to trade in virtual goods and services provided by its issuer, not real goods and services.") If the law is actually obeyed and enforced, it would curb all manner of black market activities in China connected with the virtual.

An official statement from the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Commerce last week announced China's aim to reduce the impact of virtual economics on real world financial systems. While the new rule doesn't target gold farming per se -- rather it focuses on virtual currency being exchanged for real world currency -- it stands to reason that there could be a significant impact on the "akfjdalfaslkjfs"s of your favorite MMO.

Take all of this with a huge grain of salt, though. As someone who has spent nearly a quarter of his life living in China, I can attest that simply because laws exist in the country doesn't mean they're enforced. It's too soon to say what impact the new rule will have on gold farming specifically, and the virtual goods and currency black market in general, but it's an interesting development nonetheless.

[Via GamePolitics]

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