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The Ethics of Farming part II

posted on February 12th, 2006 by billy

Continued from yesterday’s part I

  • If you buy gold, you support Chinese sweatshops.

You’d think people on computers made in Chinese sweatshops would catch the irony of their argument. They don’t though, know why? It’s because they don’t want Chinese people on their servers period. It isn’t about keeping the game servers clean of trouble, it’s about keeping out people who don’t speak English or live in a country they like. Here is the truth though. There are no gold farming Chinese sweat shops. I have spoken to gold farmers personally in person and in the game. I was curious about the way they operate so I am always asking questions. Here’s what I have learned. There are no sweatshops; the majority of the gold farmers are college students. They usually operate three or four in a company and alternate between classes and so on and so forth. They sell the gold and use it to live on. I know, I have seen it 1 st hand. I went to China last summer on vacation and I met WoW gold farmers. And as I said they were all college students, and so what if they sell some gold? I have already shown that it doesn’t hurt the servers economy. And they can make more money selling gold than working an actual job. A standard job in China for a college kid, like here, is to work as a waiter or in the service sector selling things for stores. They make on Average 5 to 10 RMB per hour. If they work 40 hours (a lot) they can take home 200 to 400 RMB a week. That’s about 25 to 50 dollars. PER WEEK.

Or… or they can make 100 dollars a week from playing a video game. You do the math.

  • This is the Asians fault! Get them off our goddamned servers!

Well, they are filling a niche I don’t remember them forcing anyone to buy gold. Do you? They don’t come to your house and hold you up at gun point, do they? If it weren’t for the fact that so many Americans want to buy the stuff there would be no farmers. One thing I noticed about the Chinese is that they are business savvy, if they can turn a dollar selling something, they will. If there is no market for it, they go away. They cannot make a market.

  • All farmers are Chinese!

This statement is so ridiculous, while I agree that many of them are from China, specifically Hong Kong, I would be remiss if I didn’t tell the truth that there are 1000’s of gold farmers right here in the good old US of A.

Go to eBay and run a search for gold and then run a search for accounts for sale. You will note that at least half the gold is coming through American sellers and almost ALL of the accounts for sale come form Americans. I know, I’ve sold two of my previous level 60 characters. Shhh, don’t tell anyone. (I made $600 total). I don’t think I am unethical, because again…work and effort were put into these characters and I loved them. I sold them against the will of ToS yes, but I found them a good home. No one had an unfair advantage because there was no actual cheating involved. I started out at level 1 and went to level 60 like everyone else. Now someone else owns my old account. So? If that’s so bad should we not allow anyone to ever allow a stranger or even a friend to touch their account? Should we have finger print identification requirements before logging into the servers? No, again it’s a lame slippery slope argument.

I’ve also had this argument on the WoW forums.

“Not all farmers are Chinese! I know some white ones. So saying we should ban all Chinese gold farmers is racist, if you were worried about the economy you should advocate banning all gold farmers. Regardless of their race.”

The usual answer is for them to call me a dumb noob and a fag.

In essence, my final point is that in WoW gold farming and farmers are not a real problem. There are people who use hacks and such (usually Americans) so they can destroy people in battle grounds and PVP. Those are the real cheaters. However, because of their nationality you won’t hear much from people on the WoW forums about them. Instead, they focus on their daily witch hunts and try to get people with Chinese sounding names kicked or banned. It’s pretty ridiculous, especially considering that it doesn’t harm the game. I like the fact that epic items that used to sell for 5,000 gold (an INSANE amount) are now selling for 500 gold because farmers keep coming across them and put them up in the AH. We need to worry less about what others are doing and focus on what’s really making us mad when we play. Usually, it’s a lack of ball sack or a xenophobic hatred for any non-Americans. I even see Aussies getting put down for being forced to play on US servers and being told off when they complain about the time differences. It’s silliness. Gold farming is harmless and that’s my final word and I am sticking to it.

Read Golden Jew’s counter argument here.

6 Comments

  1. Wow... said on April 17, 2006:

    Wow, are you like 12 or something?

    That was such a poorly written article. Never mind the fact that you seem to have a sub-par understanding of basic economics and business ethics. Wow.

  2. jay said on April 17, 2006:

    Somehow or another, universities are full of professors with widely varying economic stances. Even with PhD’s people are capable of having different opinions. While making ad hominem arguments against people may be easier than thinking, it only makes you look immature. If you have actual arguments to make on the issue please feel free to do so. Also, go fuck yourself.

  3. Zidane said on April 17, 2006:

    Youre missing two key points in the argument. First, the farmers in some areas are extremly numerous. They have mapped out all of the resources and are waiting for them before they appear. Granted anyone can loot and it is a game of many people, but farmers have it down to a system that they collect everything. Almost all of the high end materials have to be purchased, simply because it will take hours to find enough resources not already taken. And I highly doubt you can make an argument saying that this is working as intended.

    The second point is that farmers can eventually ruin the game and have ruined other games in the past. Slowly, certain areas of the world have already been in a sense taken over. Farmers sit there and kill the same mobs over and over again. Although players could contest the farmers for the creeps, its much easier for them to go elsewhere. These areas quickly become known as farmer areas and are avoided by normal players. Areas and quests that Blizzard spent alot of time developing are never explored just because of the Farmers. All you need to do is look at Lineage II to see what can happen when farmers decided to take over more area.

    The third point is an error on your part. I’m sure you loved to play the race card, because people get excited over that. Fact is, people hated farmers long before Onyxia and long before World of Warcraft. Youre other comments are also ridiculous. You attack the dumbest players and then assume you have won an arguemnt. Fact is, almost everyone knows all farmers aren’t chinese and the majority of WoW isnt racist. You simply pick on them since theyre about the only people you are superior too.

  4. Golden Jew said on April 17, 2006:

    Zidane, I’d encourage you to read my article, which is linked at the end of Billy’s. It argues the opposite of this piece.

  5. Sethra said on April 17, 2006:

    No you no rike us! You rasist! You no rikka asian!

  6. jay said on April 17, 2006:

    Haha

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