Virtual gold mining outsourced to China

November 26th, 2006

Apparently there is yet another industry that has been lost to the United States due to outsourcing to China — virtual gold mining. Inside World of Warcraft Gold Farm, Future of Work, Wagner James Au talks about the seemy sweatshops where Chinese workers toil to mine virtual gold in “gray market companies which collect and sell virtual gold (primarily from World of Warcraft) to wealthier gamers in the developed world.”

“Drawing from an fascinating upcoming documentary by UC San Diego grad student Ge Jin (YouTube clip from his film here), the MTV segment features interviews with workers and managers of several gold farms, which resemble a cross between a 24 hour LAN party and a very shabby college dorm. By the segment’s estimate, an astounding half million Chinese now make a living – about $100 a month – from the acquisition and sale of WoW gold to US and EU gamers. Why is this is the future of work online? Consider the numbers, youth, and low wages of the gold farmers, and the growing interest in outsourcing tasks online.”

Somebody call Lou Dobbs! Someday the lazy American workers will wake up and be sorry when they can no longer enjoy cheap WoW gold earned by the sweat of others.