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China's prisoners forced to play lucrative online games - reports.

A Chinese prisoner said he had been forced to play online games, such as the "gold farming" to build up credits by prison guards who would then trade for real money.

Liu Dali, a prisoner at the Jixi labour camp in China's Heilongjiang province, said he was one of scores of prisoners forced to do these lucrative online games work.

"Prison bosses made more money forcing inmates to play games than they do forcing people to do manual labour," the Guardian cited Liu as saying.

Liu said they could make about 5,000-6,000 yuan a day, but prisoners cannot get any of the money.

"The computers were never turned off," Liu said.

Liu added if prisoners couldn't complete their work quota, they would be punished in physically. Prison guards would make them stand with their hands raised in the air and beat them with plastic pipes.

"We kept playing until we could barely see things," Liu said.

Game players can acquire in-game currency in "gold farming", such as gold. People usually sold in-game currency to other players.  Full-time employment as gold farmers People have been held in China and in other developing nations.

While most game operators expressly ban the practice of selling in-game currency for real-world cash.

Because "gold game" takes advantage of economic inequality and the fact that much time is needed to earn in-game currency, Gold farming is lucrative. Players who are rich, usually in developed country,  wishing to save many hours of playing time, will pay a lot money to the developing country gold farmers.

Following are the video "Chinese Gold Farmers Preview", which said gaming workshops in China that hire people to play online games like World of Warcraft and lineage. The gaming workers play at least 12 hours a day to produce in-game currency, equipments and whole characters, which are sold to American players.

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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Geographic Code:9CHIN
Date:May 26, 2011
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