Gold, gil, republic credits, whatever the currency is in your Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, odds are you’ve come across gold farmers.
Gold farmers are typically those characters who have a “board smash” name like “XXyyzzz” and do nothing but fish, or fight rare monsters, or something else that generates a ton of in-game currency. These people then sell the gold they obtain via their playing to other players. Of course, people often sell their gold to the gold farmers as well.
In ever MMO I’ve ever played, this was against the terms of service as it made the game unfair to those who did not have buckets of real world money to use to buy in-game money so they could purchase things like the Lizard Harness Set +1.
The majority of the farmers are in Asia, mostly Korea. However, according to Information Week, China has banned gold farming.
“Since 2007, virtual money trading has drawn official attention, with the government demanding tighter controls as such trading became an avenue for gambling and illicit trade.
Under the new rules, using virtual money for gambling will be punished by public security authorities, and minors may not buy virtual money.
The Ministry of Culture also vowed to step up supervision on money laundering via virtual credits and other illegal online activities.” – From the press release issued by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.