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Chinese Prisoners Forced to Play World of Warcraft, Detainee Says

A former prisoner of a Chinese labor camp claims guards are forcing detainees to play online games as part of a huge money-making scam.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/05/26/chinese-prisoners-...

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The world is getting cheaper by the moment.


Here's a thought provoking

article from Lew Rockwell's site. The author applies Austrian economic analysis to the virtual economies of online gaming worlds. It's interesting how, due to the subjective values of individuals, the virtual and real world economies often merge and are difficult to distinguish. Price formation, inflation, specialization, and the division of labor often come in to play in both worlds.

The Economics of 'World of Warcraft' - by Alexander Villacampa


"The abundance of gold in World of Warcraft is limitless, but it must be laboriously obtained from defeating creatures; this creates a deterrent to most individuals that rather buy virtual currency from online auction houses than take the time and farm the gold themselves. This "farming" trend has become so popular that now families in China are using their time to farm gold for World of Warcraft players and are selling the virtual currency on Internet auctions for profit. A variety of families have become dependent on the virtual gold market created by World of Warcraft and "farming." This phenomenon also can be an application of the subjective theory of value. For instance, an individual who purchases virtual gold coins online must prefer current in-game purchasing power versus the present purchasing power of the dollar bills forgone."


"What is marvelous about economic science is that it can be applied to almost everything. All human action can be analyzed through it and almost no realm is cut off from economic analysis. As I continue my research and expand my intellectual horizons, my understandings concerning the applications of economic science broadens. World of Warcraft may only be a game with no true connection to the real world but it is a realm built by human action; it is a game where all individuals are free to engage in the virtual marketplace. Throughout the game there are instances of economic laws taking place, as I have so described. It is incorrect to believe that economic analysis can only be applied to "real world" occurrences but in fact it can be used to understand all interpersonal relationships, virtual and "real." World of Warcraft is just another instance were Austrian economic analysis is quite useful in understanding in-game trends and developments as well as deciphering the elements that comprise the virtual marketplace."