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Chinese prisoners forced to mine fake gold in online video games as part of elaborate money-making scheme

Saturday, May 28, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: online video games, prisoners, health news

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(NaturalNews) The fake currencies used in online role-playing games like World of Warcraft (WoW) have become a hot new commodity that is now worth a significant amount of real currency. According to a recent report in the UK's Guardian, some Chinese labor camps actually force their prisoners to spend countless hours on computers every day engaged in "gold farming" -- and this fake gold is then sold to other players in exchange for actual money.

"Prison bosses made [sic] more money forcing inmates to play games than they do forcing people to do manual labor," said Liu Dali, a former prisoner at the Chinese Jixi labor camp, concerning his tasks there. "There were 300 prisoners forced to play games. We worked 12-hour shifts in the camp. I heard them say they could earn 5,000 - 6,000 rmb ($770 - $924) a day. We didn't see any of the money. The computers were never turned off."

Dali explained that during the day, prisoners performed actual physical labor like digging trenches and moving heavy boulders. But at night, everything turned virtual as select gaming prisoners performed repetitive labor tasks in the online world in order to earn fake currency, which in turn was later sold for real cash.

Punishments administered to prisoners who do not perform well enough in the virtual world are very real, however, According to Dali, low-performing gamers are routinely subjected to physical punishments, many of which would qualify to the average person as torture.

"If I couldn't complete my work quota, they would punish me physically," Dali is quoted as saying in the Guardian. "They would make me stand with my hands raised in the air and after I returned to my dormitory they would beat me with plastic pipes. We kept playing until we could barely see things."

In other words, prisoners who fail to achieve enough fake earnings in the fake world are subject to very real consequences in the real world. And so it goes in this increasingly sick and twisted modern world where, ironically, many other common things like processed food, birth certificates, and even currencies are also fake, and yet accepted as if they are actually real (http://www.naturalnews.com/032217_Obama_birt...).

Sources for this story include:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/25/...
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