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Video game wage slavery

Nearly half a million people are employed in developing countries earning virtual goods in online games to sell to players, a study has found.

The industry, which is largely based in China, currently employs about 400,000 young people who earn £80 per month on average.

Players in the popular online game World of Warcraft acquire virtual gold by fighting monsters and completing quests. Some simply buy it from a fast-growing workforce employed to play this and other games. 'Playbourers" , as they are called , sell gold or other virtual goods .
Cash-rich time-poor players employ those willing to work long hours for little reward and it is likely to keep on growing.

In 2007, it was reportedby Edward Castronova, an academic studying the economics of online gaming at the University of Indiana, that the real money trade - people paying real cash for virtual items - was worth around $300-$400m. That estimate is surely much higher now .