Not the best article I've read on the issue, this one is blatant in it's
trying to portray the people working for the companies as poor serfs in
dank dungeons forced to play a video game for cash - but fail miserably.
It strikes me as someone had a deadline looming, and threw an article
together at the last minute. For all the talk of meeting with the actual
farmers, the whole thing is more than skimpy on important details, and
The pictures also say to me that the other articles I've read are more
towards the truth - the majority of people who work for the farmers/
managers are kids or young adults who don't want "regular" jobs, are on
break from school, or just want some extra cash for what is essentially
easy work (if you can take being in the same chair for 10-12 hours) (The
same amount of time legit players spend...funny, that...)
They try to portray the manangers as being cruel, Simon Legre types, but
if you read carefully, nowhere does it say ANYTHING about anyone being
forced to work there, being unable to quit at will, and if anything,
they point out without intending to that they're picky about who they
hire, and it's not easy to get hired.
They also don't establish that this is the only kind of work available
for the majority of the populace in any of the coutries. You know,
people at McDonalds don't make squat, and they get far less attention
and sympathy than the kids who play video games all day for cash. In
fact, they admit:
"or all the so-called virtual sweatshops discovered, a lot of these
young men and boys don't mind their jobs, and they aren't exactly
working in sweatshop conditions. There's a world of difference between
making sneakers and watching bots fight all day. However, they are
underpaid, or as Smooth Criminal puts it, "They get paid dirt. But dirt
is good where they live."
Nobody is forcing people to work in these studios, and they admit that
they tunr away 10-20 people a day. If we accept that as factual, it
hardly seems like they're working in sweatshops at all - sounds to me
like the jobs might be coveted and desired.
And then, they try to get sympathy for the manager who lives at his
"studio" (and fail to actually state he was forced to live there), and
say that he could lose his home - but did'nt say he was forced to take a
gamble by combining his home and a business.
Then they throw in some OBVIOUS marketing BS from IGE - they try to
squash farming, my butt, without it, they'd have no PRODUCT. Plus, no
rebuttal to IGE's preposterous statements.
Bad, bad, bad journalism - this is high school level work.
The only thing the article does do is establish A. farming MMOGs is big
business (which has been established long ago), B. the job requires long
hours (We knew), C. the players get paid pennies on the dollar, but fail
to show how much their pay is equal to in their country - sure, $150 a
month sounds like slave wages...but how much is a dollar there worth?
Sloppy, sloppy journalism, their editor should be shot.
I'm against farmers, I'm against buying gold, but this article told me
me things I already knew, and the sloppy writing and research makes me
question the vailidity of anything they have to say. I don't doubt that
the companes liek IGE and the middle-men are raking in huge piles of
cash, but I see no proof of the slave-like conditions (the pictures show
bored kids in fairly nice surroundings), people becoming homeless for
failing to farm enough gold, or families in the streets starving because
Dad screwed up farming mobs.
And NOT ONE WORD about the damaging effect the companies like IGE have
on the games.
I'm surprised, coming from 1Up, but there's my review.
Archived from groups: alt.games.warcraft (More info?)
The modern sweat shop works you very hard for very low wage and very long
hours.. No longer is it based on the heat and labor of a shop. 10 to 12
hours in a chair isn't work ?? Get a grip.. grinding at doing things in a
set manner in order to get paid for 12 hours a day is WORK in the sense of
These jobs are only "coveted" based on what other jobs within the other
local economy support.. So these provide a sit down "job" out of the
weather. Middle men are exploiting the need for people to make a living a
I do agree this was a half hearted article at best.. some important details
are missing.. much like in the pacific rim work environment such as lack of
breaks.. very limited time off the work floor for restroom usage.. Sick bays
where if you spend more the a certain amount of time, not only do you lose
that pay, but a portion of other money you have earned! This set up is much
like any other .. work women and children at sub standard wages as often as
possible to drain every penny from an industry as soon as possible.
Wal-Mart is a huge abuser of this type of "work" force.. and has been
called out so many times of the years for its abuses that it is not even
funny any more. All thru the use of "local" companies there being run by
I do not support this type of action in any part of the world, nor do I
think it should accepted as "well at least they are being abused or bored".
We don't know the story because we only got a half ass article with not much
investigation .. Sony at least did something to try and figure out a way to
stem it.. which was sell it themselves.. but in my book that makes it no
better then the farmer.. except corporate greed was much more visible..