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.