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BBC suggests gold farming may bolster poorer economies

Jef Reahard

Who says gold farmers are devilspawn and deserving of a fate worse than death? Well, a lot of MMO gamers say that, but a news blurb on the BBC's website suggests that some virtual currency farmers may have a higher purpose after all.

Citing a report at, the BBC posits that gold farmers are simply filling a role in the global supply and demand economy. "Western players who have limited time for gaming are buying game cash, gear and high level characters from people in China and Vietnam that are paid to play as a job," the article states.

The BBC also notes that the most recent global virtual sales estimates put the total market worth in the neighborhood of $3 billion. Approximately 30% of that is generated by legit players, 50% comes from bot farms, and the remaining 20% is pilfered from compromised accounts. Whether or not you tremble in anger at the thought of MMO gold farming or dismiss it as a modern-day reality, it seems as if it's here to stay, and according to the BBC, it might even provide economic aid to poor nations. "The virtual economy can have a significant impact on local economies despite its modest size," according to the article.

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