China used prisoners in lucrative internet gaming work


Once again I will be posting about the bad side of Social Media. People have a strong awareness in the gaming community of how they represent themselves. When I first started playing video games, it was all about investing time in your character to get the best items ingame. Nowadays, It is all about looking “kawaii” (cute). Companies adopted a different business model in which players can purchase items that will change their appearance. I was curious to see how far people would go to be unique within their online social network and how people would respond to this. Once a player is rich in game, that person can buy any item ingame and thereby have an influential position within their network. I know that people would engage in the act of “buying ingame valuta” for real money. But who do they buy from? I stumbled upon this article that might be of interest. In the following article,  people found out that prison wardens in China would  force their prison inmates to play games non stop to farm gold and sell it to other players. The prisoners would get physically abused if they did not reach their work quota. What bothers me here is that the money they earn through this method is more than manually labour. Is power within online social networks really that important? Do we have to behave unethically? The problem at hand is that the recognition of unethical behaviour is slowly fading away, because it involves digital acts. A lot of people download illegal, because they know they can get away with it. People cyberbully, because they won’t see the other person suffering directly. Social media revolves around the digital world and I just hope we can still retain our morals.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/25/china-prisoners-internet-gaming-scam

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