A few years back, we wrote about the rise of virtual sweatshops
in China that involved "gold farming" in online worlds. The idea was that these shops would get people to do repetitive tasks in online games to create virtual wealth that could be sold in the real world for cash. Last month, there were some stories claiming that China was looking to crack down
on gold farmers, but later analysis suggested it had less to do with gold farming and more to do with alternate currencies found online. Still, it's worth noting the reports claiming that World Of Warcraft has been down in China for a while
, and no one's entirely sure why. The rumor is that the Chinese gov't believes that an agreement between Blizzard and another company is illegal, and during the investigation it has forced the site offline. Still, it does make you wonder what all those WoW gold farmers are going to be doing. Judging by how often they try to spam our comments, from Chinese IP addresses, they can't be handling the downtime all that well. Update
: Cool. Folks in the comments come through again, pointing out that the gold farmers are connecting via US servers so this doesn't much matter. So now you know... Of course, if that's the case, then who cares whether or not the Chinese servers have gone down?