Friday, July 15, 2011

Real Virtual Slaves

Chinese prisoners were forced into 'gold farming' – building up credits on online games such as World of Warcraft.

Liu says he was one of scores of prisoners forced to play online games to build up credits that prison guards would then trade for real money. The 54-year-old, a former prison guard who was jailed for three years in 2004 for "illegally petitioning" the central government about corruption in his hometown, reckons the operation was even more lucrative than the physical labour that prisoners were also forced to do.

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Mining cash from online games is a novel approach but of course what is described is simple slavery. After the inmates smashed rocks, they smashed goblins. If they didn't earn enough money per hour, they were tortured. Of course, it was all the actions of corrupt guards.

On the other hand, if these games are still paying off, what a godsend for the Texas Prison System. As if they need more money than what they get building defective body armor for the military.

Private prisons. Isn't that the same as keeping a 16 year old girl in a hole in your back yard?

No? Why not? What right does a private person have to imprison another human being? This is not an action that can be outsourced – it is a responsibility only government may bear.

Our nation is paying people to keep slaves. That is how I see it. Slave labor.

But the games are fun. With the depression and all, people will have themselves thrown in prison just to become a contestant on Death Wish 2012. Human fodder always drives big media.

What is the difference between the guards forcing the inmates to play online games and the prison forcing the inmates to carve chopsticks all day? Only the “authority” of the state.

Slave chopsticks good, slave Warcraft bad.

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