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In the s and s, gold farming was the practice of playing a massively multiplayer online game MMO to acquire in-game currency later selling it for real-world money. The actual labor mechanics of these two practices may be identical or similar, and the "professional" gamers who held employment as gold farmers in the past may continue to work as power levelers to this day. While most game operators ban the practice of selling in-game currency for real-world cash,  gold farming was lucrative because it took advantage of economic inequality and the fact much time is needed to earn in-game currency.
Bythe term was being used to describe the wait times and chore-like activities required to enjoy some freemium mobile phone games without paying fees. What began as a cottage industry in the late s became increasingly more commercialized in the s with the growing popularity of massively multiplayer online games. While in the past players used eBay and PayPal to sell each other items and gold from games like Ultima Online  and Lineage contemporary, commercialized gold farming may have its origins in South Korea.
Academic studies of gold farming reveal that the social networks of gold farmers heroes of the storm bot farming similar to those of drug dealers. Although gold farming has since fallen out of favor, [ citation needed ] hiring another player to level up your avatar by increasing its supply of experience points may continue to be a popular practice.
The term elo boosting may refer to a similar activity in games that features Elo rating system or some other competitive ladder system. While reliable figures for gold farming are hard to come by,  there are some estimates of the market for in-game currency.
InThe New York Times estimated that there were overfull-time gold farmers in China alone, and by the number had increased to one million.
Many game developers expressly ban gold farming in their game's EULA or terms of service. These can then be auctioned off to other players for in-game currencies. Gold farming and power leveling can affect a game's economy by causing inflation. These ill effects can occur whether or not such practices are sanctioned by the game operator. During the crisis in Bolivarian Heroes of the storm bot farmingVenezuelans became gold-farmers and could be seen playing online video games such as RuneScape to sell in-game currency or characters for real currency.
In many cases, these gamers made more money than salaried workers in Venezuela even though they were earning just a few dollars per day. So many Venezuelans began this practice that it increased inflation with multiple game currencies.
Some governments, perhaps recognizing that current regulatory systems may be ill-suited to address activities such as gold heroes of the storm bot farming, have made statements concerning the sale of virtual goods.
Ina spokesperson for the Australian Government stated normal earned income rules also apply to income from the sale of virtual goods. Prisoners in Chinese labor camps have been heroes of the storm bot farming to engage in gold farming for the financial benefit of prison authorities. In response to increases in gold farming, in the Japanese Government urged the computer gaming industry to self-regulate as well as vowing to investigate this species of fraud.
A Korean high court's ruling meant that exchanging virtual currency for real money was legal in heroes of the storm bot farming country although subject to taxation. A United States Congressional committee investigated taxation of virtual assets and incomes derived from them in and the IRS has, in its National Taxpayer Advocate's Heroes of the storm bot farming Report to Congress, expressed concern that virtual worlds are a growing source of tax noncompliance.
Zyngathe makers of FarmVillefiled a lawsuit to stop online sales of its in-game currency. The lawsuit never went to trial.
Jagexthe makers of RuneScapehave engaged in legal actions against several gold farmers and bot programmers. The court ordered an injunction that immediately halted all business operations within said game. Gold farming has been discussed as a tool for socioeconomic development by the United Kingdom's Department for International Development  and University of Manchester professor Richard Heeks.
Gold farmers receive a higher percentage of sale revenue from their work than do farmers of fair trade coffee. Neal Stephenson 's novel Reamde has a plot centered on an online game that encourages gold farming.
Cory Doctorow 's short story Anda's Game  and novel For The Win  include references to gold farming. COMChinese Gold, used found video and machinima to document and explore the Chinese gold farming phenomenon. Julian Dibbell 's book Play Money: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Not to be confused with gold mining. Retrieved May 3, For non-Chinese gold farmers, see Gamers load for virtual asset swap Archived at the Wayback Machine. Outsource It to Chinese nytimes.
Retrieved 13 April Global Capitalism and Video Games. University of Minnesota Press. Retrieved 25 May Retrieved July 23, Retrieved October 29, Consumers Studies Research Network.
Retrieved March 10, Retrieved 21 September Retrieved 6 December Outsource It to Chinese". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 September Retrieved from " https: Massively heroes of the storm bot farming online role-playing games Video game culture Virtual economies. Webarchive template wayback links Webarchive template archiveis links All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from April Views Read Edit View history.