Ge Jin, a PhD student from UCSD, is working on a video documentary about the gold farming phenomenon. His observations from his meetings with Chinese workers in various gold farming workshops:
When I entered a gold farm for the first time (tietou’s gaming workshop in the preview), I was shocked by the positive spirit there, the farmers are passionate about what they do, and there is indeed a comraderie between them … I do see suffering and exploitation too, but in that place suffering is mixed with play and exploitation is embodied in a gang-like brotherhood and hierarchy. When I talked with the farmers, they rarely complained about their working condition, they only complained about their life in the game world.
Although they have to work/play for 12 hours a day, they take pride in what they achieve and they seem eager to escape into a virtual reality richer, brighter, and more exciting than their impoverished real world lives.
Via Edge Terra Nova.