Chinese prisoners are being forced to mine gold.. online

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I’m not sure what’s more surreal about this story, the fact that Chinese prisoners are being forced to mine online gold in World of Warcraft or that the whistleblower was in jail for ‘illegally petitioning’ the central government about corruption in his home town.

Remember that next time you complain about our government, at least we are free to whine about corruption.

Anyway back to the story, Liu Dali was imprisoned for for 3 years for the above mentioned offense and while he was still forced to do the normal manual labour that is standard fare in Chinese prisons (breaking rocks, making chopsticks etc) he says the most surreal experience was being forced to play games for hours every night.

The practice is called gold farming and it involves players in World of Warcraft continuously repeating the same mundane tasks over and over again to gain extra gold which can then be sold to Western players who are to lazy to do the grinding themselves.

Apparently they were bringing in around R5000 a day for the guards which is pretty impressive really.

It sounds like the guards were doing this behind the prison authorities backs but if this sort of work was sanctioned by the government for prisoners would it be so bad? Forcing prisoners to bring income into your country doesn’t sound that bad to me.

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Source: Guardian

Last Updated: May 26, 2011

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

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