Golden Years

So, despite my scepticism, it turns out that it is possible to make a living by working in a virtual world.

The BBC report sums it up:

  • Research by Manchester University shows that the practice, known as gold-farming, is growing rapidly … In many online games virtual cash remains rare and many people turn to suppliers such as gold farmers to get money to outfit avatars with better gear, weapons or a mount.

The full paper is available here.

The opportunity seems to be limited to MMORPG’s like World of Warcraft though – I can’t see how the model would translate to Second Life, since Linden dollars can be purchased directly, without the need to employ anyone to spend time “farming” them.

The returns are hardly stellar by western standards – £77 a month on average. Unsurprisingly, 80% of the trade is based in China, where that represents a decent income. Still, if things keep going the way they are, gold farming might start looking like an attractive prospect here too.

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