Is it ethical to buy Warcraft currency from gold farmers?

By Mark O’Neill
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

A lot of “World of Warcraft” gamers apparently don’t want to go through the huge amounts of time needed to build up the gold to initially create their characters.  Either because they can’t be bothered or because they have day jobs which stop them from gaming all day.  So to cut a few corners, they go online and buy the gold they need from “gold farmers” in the Far East.

These “gold farmers” are people who spend vast numbers of hours in front of a computer screen, building up huge amounts of gold who then sell it to Westerners who have the money to buy it.  The practice is forbidden by the gaming companies who will cancel the gamer’s account if they find out – but it is not criminally illegal.

But is it ethical?  Leaving aside the fact that you are cheating, it seems there is evidence that these gold farming schemes are being infliltrated by organised crime and the farmers themselves exploited.    So while you’re getting a fine gaming character with a nice sword, shining armour and plenty of gold, someone real on the other side of the world is suffering.

Have you ever bought gaming gold online?   Do you consider the practice of online gold farming ethical and proper?

Computer warriors pay geek mercenaries to fight their wars for them – Times Online.

Advertisements
Advertisement




23 Responses to Is it ethical to buy Warcraft currency from gold farmers?

  1. You mention the fact that farmers might be abused, but there are numerous reports also of legitimate players having their accounts hacked by gold…hackers, I guess you'd called them, who disenchant all the players items and sell everything and then mail their gold to someone who bought the gold from the gold hacker. So not only might the gold you buy have been farmed by some poor schmuck on the other side of the globe…even worse, it might represent a real player having their account and everything they worked for destroyed and stolen. I'm currently saving up to buy my epic mount in game, which costs alot (5,000 gold, which represents about 50 hours of gameplay) and since $50 or whatever it would take to buy that is not much, only a couple hours of real life work to me, I'd be tempted to buy gold. However, the knowledge that buying that might be supporting a hacker who ruins other peoples playing experiences removes any temption or thought of doing so.

  2. You mention the fact that farmers might be abused, but there are numerous reports also of legitimate players having their accounts hacked by gold…hackers, I guess you’d called them, who disenchant all the players items and sell everything and then mail their gold to someone who bought the gold from the gold hacker. So not only might the gold you buy have been farmed by some poor schmuck on the other side of the globe…even worse, it might represent a real player having their account and everything they worked for destroyed and stolen. I’m currently saving up to buy my epic mount in game, which costs alot (5,000 gold, which represents about 50 hours of gameplay) and since $50 or whatever it would take to buy that is not much, only a couple hours of real life work to me, I’d be tempted to buy gold. However, the knowledge that buying that might be supporting a hacker who ruins other peoples playing experiences removes any temption or thought of doing so.

  3. I don't think it's unethical. This is something that happens in all MMOG (I was playing Ultima Online for years and this was a very common thing, not only to sell/buy gold but also rare artifacts), people who have more time in their hands spend it to make (real) money. On the other hand people who have less time, due to making real money, spend their money to buy time. It's an exchange, simple as that. It's exactly the same like going to the grocery store and buy some food.

  4. I don’t think it’s unethical. This is something that happens in all MMOG (I was playing Ultima Online for years and this was a very common thing, not only to sell/buy gold but also rare artifacts), people who have more time in their hands spend it to make (real) money. On the other hand people who have less time, due to making real money, spend their money to buy time. It’s an exchange, simple as that. It’s exactly the same like going to the grocery store and buy some food.

  5. I don’t think it’s unethical. This is something that happens in all MMOG (I was playing Ultima Online for years and this was a very common thing, not only to sell/buy gold but also rare artifacts), people who have more time in their hands spend it to make (real) money. On the other hand people who have less time, due to making real money, spend their money to buy time. It’s an exchange, simple as that. It’s exactly the same like going to the grocery store and buy some food.

  6. I dunno, I sold gold to people I knew in town. I had a rare recipe and there was literally nothing left to do with all the money I could make in a simple 10 minute auction-scan twice a day.

    They set up their game so there is a hard limit on what you can spend gold on. Once you have the epic mount, all of the best gear can only be acquired if your character is physically there. Is it cheating if I trade my friend one currency for another? Is it unethical? I don't think so!

  7. I dunno, I sold gold to people I knew in town. I had a rare recipe and there was literally nothing left to do with all the money I could make in a simple 10 minute auction-scan twice a day.

    They set up their game so there is a hard limit on what you can spend gold on. Once you have the epic mount, all of the best gear can only be acquired if your character is physically there. Is it cheating if I trade my friend one currency for another? Is it unethical? I don’t think so!

  8. I am a gold farmer, and have to say that I am not being exploited, and neither are the people I sell gold to. I started selling in-game gold when, after hours of constant playing, I noticed that I had much more money than I needed, and that I was only making more. I knew many people that did have demanding jobs, and thus couldn't put in the time to make enough money to have any fun. I don't see it as unethical, but simple democracy. Economics.

    All currencies have no value in and of themselves, only the value that we give them, because of their requirement for all our daily needs…If anyone is being exploited it is the citizens of every country of the world, especially the ones that work for the monetary unit.

    As for Asian kids being exploited to this…Sadly, I don't really see it as that big of a deal. If they weren't doing this, they would be exploited in some other way. At least they get to play video games. Its probably a pretty hot job over there. I know it would be here, if that practice was legal.

    As for social life, I have a great one. I play in a band, attend and Ivy University, Work full-time, and instead of watching TV and movies, internet surfing, and raising children, I play excessive amounts of MMOs. Not WoW however.

    • You dont see anything wrong with some kids getting exploited. Retardds like you said slavery was not a problem.

      You are also a liar, you said "I play in a band, attend and Ivy University, Work full-time" I'll let you pick the lies out of that statement.

      I bet if you do goto university you study 'economics'.

      • No, I don't really see a problem with children being exploited. How else can you get them adjusted to the average schmucks 9-5? Talk about exploitation. Does it really matter at what age it begins? Something does not become ethical overnight, or on your eighteenth birthday, it either is or isn't.

        I never said that slavery was not a problem, but if you want to talk about the direct ramifications of the North investing in hired slavery (Irish, Italian, and other immigrants) suddenly deciding that the South, with no industry or investments, and no means of being able to afford their agricultural needs without the help of slaves to make any profit, then go ahead and make an ass of yourself. Yes slavery is and was horrible, hideous even, but the Civil War was not about human rights at all.

        You really do hate people that play video games don't you. I am a liar because I play one, or because I accidentally typed a "d" on the end of "an"?

        My band name is Ephemeroptera, I attend the University of Pennsylvania, and work in the financial aid department, a full forty hours a week. No, its not a hard job, but it is full time.

        I also don't study 'economics', but Classic Philology, and no I didn't mean to type "philosophy", so don't flame me. You seem to be awful spiteful towards…whatever it is about me that pisses you off.

        I really wanted to be part of this community, but if its full of assholes like you, I guess I'll go look other places. Either way, I love the articles, I check many times a day, and will continue to do so, but I doubt if I'll ever feel like I can ever say anything again.

        What an asshole.

        Go fuck yourself, or can you do that with your shitty community college degree in homemaking, you piece of shit.

        That is all.

  9. I am a gold farmer, and have to say that I am not being exploited, and neither are the people I sell gold to. I started selling in-game gold when, after hours of constant playing, I noticed that I had much more money than I needed, and that I was only making more. I knew many people that did have demanding jobs, and thus couldn’t put in the time to make enough money to have any fun. I don’t see it as unethical, but simple democracy. Economics.

    All currencies have no value in and of themselves, only the value that we give them, because of their requirement for all our daily needs…If anyone is being exploited it is the citizens of every country of the world, especially the ones that work for the monetary unit.

    As for Asian kids being exploited to this…Sadly, I don’t really see it as that big of a deal. If they weren’t doing this, they would be exploited in some other way. At least they get to play video games. Its probably a pretty hot job over there. I know it would be here, if that practice was legal.

    As for social life, I have a great one. I play in a band, attend and Ivy University, Work full-time, and instead of watching TV and movies, internet surfing, and raising children, I play excessive amounts of MMOs. Not WoW however.

    • You dont see anything wrong with some kids getting exploited. Retardds like you said slavery was not a problem.

      You are also a liar, you said “I play in a band, attend and Ivy University, Work full-time” I’ll let you pick the lies out of that statement.

      I bet if you do goto university you study ‘economics’.

      • No, I don’t really see a problem with children being exploited. How else can you get them adjusted to the average schmucks 9-5? Talk about exploitation. Does it really matter at what age it begins? Something does not become ethical overnight, or on your eighteenth birthday, it either is or isn’t.

        I never said that slavery was not a problem, but if you want to talk about the direct ramifications of the North investing in hired slavery (Irish, Italian, and other immigrants) suddenly deciding that the South, with no industry or investments, and no means of being able to afford their agricultural needs without the help of slaves to make any profit, then go ahead and make an ass of yourself. Yes slavery is and was horrible, hideous even, but the Civil War was not about human rights at all.

        You really do hate people that play video games don’t you. I am a liar because I play one, or because I accidentally typed a “d” on the end of “an”?

        My band name is Ephemeroptera, I attend the University of Pennsylvania, and work in the financial aid department, a full forty hours a week. No, its not a hard job, but it is full time.

        I also don’t study ‘economics’, but Classic Philology, and no I didn’t mean to type “philosophy”, so don’t flame me. You seem to be awful spiteful towards…whatever it is about me that pisses you off.

        I really wanted to be part of this community, but if its full of assholes like you, I guess I’ll go look other places. Either way, I love the articles, I check many times a day, and will continue to do so, but I doubt if I’ll ever feel like I can ever say anything again.

        What an asshole.

        Go fuck yourself, or can you do that with your shitty community college degree in homemaking, you piece of shit.

        That is all.

  10. The issue with the gold trade is that it's become less about a person farming gold all day and selling it to another person and more about a person hacking multiple accounts and guild banks then selling it to another person.

    While perhaps a rare few true gold farmers remain for the most part the industry has become one of … if you support gold farming, you support your own account getting hacked.

  11. The issue with the gold trade is that it’s become less about a person farming gold all day and selling it to another person and more about a person hacking multiple accounts and guild banks then selling it to another person.

    While perhaps a rare few true gold farmers remain for the most part the industry has become one of … if you support gold farming, you support your own account getting hacked.

  12. You nerds need to get out and get laid if you even care about this. WoW is the worst game ever made. Yes, even worse than guitar hero, and thats saying a hell of a lot.

  13. You nerds need to get out and get laid if you even care about this. WoW is the worst game ever made. Yes, even worse than guitar hero, and thats saying a hell of a lot.

  14. I know how gross it feels when you work really hard to get somewhere in a game only to see some nub who buys gold or some bot speed past you. However, I only refrain out of fear for my account and for the integrity of the in-game economy. (blah blah.) If someone wants to make money off of what they’re good at, they should be allowed to. That’s what EVERYONE tries to do, in one way or another.

    The issue of players being hacked isn’t a concern of mine. If someone tries to buy gold, they are doing so with the understanding that there are risks. If you try to break the rules, you obviously may be hurt by it.

    As for the issue of persons being exploited in foreign countries:
    If you are desperately concerned about this, don’t buy shoes. Don’t buy furniture. Don’t go to fast food restaurants. In fact, read every label on everything you read, period, because in most cases, the product you hold in your hands has some imported components. And sadly, overseas factory workers sometimes are- yes- exploited. It is hardy the video game gold-farming “industry” I would fret about.

    (Besides, if my boyfriend could make some money by doing what he already does in-game, I’d be more than happy. Seriously, sweetie, get off your ass and get in bed with me where you belong. Kiki horny.)

  15. I know how gross it feels when you work really hard to get somewhere in a game only to see some nub who buys gold or some bot speed past you. However, I only refrain out of fear for my account and for the integrity of the in-game economy. (blah blah.) If someone wants to make money off of what they're good at, they should be allowed to. That's what EVERYONE tries to do, in one way or another.

    The issue of players being hacked isn't a concern of mine. If someone tries to buy gold, they are doing so with the understanding that there are risks. If you try to break the rules, you obviously may be hurt by it.

    As for the issue of persons being exploited in foreign countries:

    If you are desperately concerned about this, don't buy shoes. Don't buy furniture. Don't go to fast food restaurants. In fact, read every label on everything you read, period, because in most cases, the product you hold in your hands has some imported components. And sadly, overseas factory workers sometimes are- yes- exploited. It is hardy the video game gold-farming "industry" I would fret about.

    (Besides, if my boyfriend could make some money by doing what he already does in-game, I'd be more than happy. Seriously, sweetie, get off your ass and get in bed with me where you belong. Kiki horny.)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.