Chinese Prisoners Forced To Play World Of Warcraft In Labour Camps

This is just an incredible story. The Guardian reports that Chinese prisoners in labour camps are being forced to put in 12 hour World of Warcraft gold farming shifts in a lucrative scam being run by prison guards.

Apparently this was in addition to grinding manual labour they were forced to do during regular work hours.

"Prison bosses made more money forcing inmates to play games than they do forcing people to do manual labour," claimed Liu Dali, a source quoted by The Guardian. "There were 300 prisoners forced to play games. We worked 12-hour shifts in the camp. I heard them say they could earn 5000-6000rmb ($800-900) a day. We didn't see any of the money. The computers were never turned off."

Apparently each prisoner had a specific work quota. If that quota wasn't met, the prisoners would be physically punished.

"If I couldn't complete my work quota, they would punish me physically. They would make me stand with my hands raised in the air and after I returned to my dormitory they would beat me with plastic pipes. We kept playing until we could barely see things," said Liu.

It's an incredible story, and indicative of just how extensive and lucrative gold farming is.

China used prisoners in lucrative internet gaming work [The Guardian]

Thanks to David Olsen for the heads up.


    I've been joking about this for years when my mates were buying WoW gold. Is this really true??

    Wow that's really something! Surprises me that its still going on tbh.

    Holy hell. I knew gold farming was rife but this is insanity. I wonder if Blizzard would even acknowledge this.

    China; redefining the word "atrocity" for the 21st century.

    am i Heatless because i was wondering if they played so much wow, that when the guards beat them, they had damage numbers appearing above their head?



      Dude, how cold are you? Being heatless isn't good...

        Being prisoners, i tend to find myself much less empathetic..

        But that being said, they are CHINESE prisoners, meaning they've probably been locked up for the smallest BS thing... which would be damn appauling..

        But you know what, if they are rapists, murders, pedos or whatever else, yes, let them gold farm for 12 hours a day then beat them with a plastic rod...

        Unfortunately, having computer privileges also means they probably aren't the scummiest of scum...


      i wonder if there's a DPS meter add-on for that.

      Does it make me equally as bad for laughing?

      So I guess when I feel like getting rich, you'll help me take over China?

      Us heatless bastards must band together.

    Is that all?
    Damn, I could farm twice that much!

    Disgusting. China is perplexing. It seems to be so behind the ball in regards to human rights issues yet its dedication to the development of science and technology is awe inspiring.

    Thats just insane! lol

    hope they are giving those prisoners breaks every three hours, don't want them ending up with long term back problems!

    To all you bleeding hearts that are honestly seeing this as punishment:
    Harden the F up.

    "oh no, the poor man has to play video games for 12 hours in a cell"

    Seriously, if you think this is the worst thing to go on in a prison system, you have quite honestly been watching too much tv.

      Have you ever been forced to play a game for 12 hours a day, presumably with bare minimal breaks (if any), against your will just so your guards and wardens can make $900 a day?

      I think if you were in that situation you wouldn't be too thrilled about it.

        No, but on the other hand, i haven't gone out of my way to piss off the Chinese government.

        How is one man being forced to do something out of his will as a form of punishment any worse than the thing that put him there in the first place?

        Sure, you might be able to say that china is a horrible place and its laws are unjust to its citizens.

        Tough shit.
        Break the law, you go to jail.

        I can guarantee you far worse is going on in far more civilized countries than china.

          M1557, your ignorance is breathtaking. This is a country that has more political prisoners than the rest of the world combined. That's proportionally by the way. You don't have to break the law to go to jail in China. Even if you did, that doesn't make slavery OK.

          Also, read the story - it's not just 12 hours a day of gold farming. They also have regular physical labor as well. This is just the guards profiteering on a woefully under regulated prison system.

      true that! and unless you take getting raped in PVP seriously, then it should be a pretty safe environment... not taking into account of all the beatings that is...

    I bet they have to play Alliance toons against their will... that’s so horrible and inhumane :(

    Ahh, but what are American Prisoners doing for us?

    "According to the Left Business Observer, the federal prison industry produces 100% of all military helmets, ammunition belts, bullet-proof vests, ID tags, shirts, pants, tents, bags, and canteens. Along with war supplies, prison workers supply 98% of the entire market for equipment assembly services; 93% of paints and paintbrushes; 92% of stove assembly; 46% of body armor; 36% of home appliances; 30% of headphones/microphones/speakers; and 21% of office furniture. Airplane parts, medical supplies, and much more: prisoners are even raising seeing-eye dogs for blind people."

    ok, for anyone who DIDN'T READ The Guardian story. The guy they interviewed was locked up for "illegally petitioning" the central government about corruption in his hometown. He got 3 years hard-labour at the "Jixi re-education-through-labour Camp"

    I don't see the lol here

    Definitely one of those truth is stranger than fiction things.

    I suddenly feel monumentally bad for the one time I bought gold. That flying mount doesn't seem any where near worth it now. Amnesty International should be all over this.

      Dont feel bad , you could have in fact been saving some young Chinese lady from prostitution by buying gold from her.

    the chinese communist goverment is fked up. Heaps of people have been put in jail for nothing at all

    I wonder if they let them raid or do heroics?

    Hardly surprising. Prisons are a source of cheap labour. Most of the furniture sold in the US is now made by prisoners. Hell, Australia was founded and built on penal labour.

    The kicker with WoW gold-farming is that it's very easily exploitable and isn't as taxing as hard manual labour.

    Those poor prisoners, forced to play World of Warcraft?
    A worse fate I couldn't concieve.

      Never mind the beatings they get if they don't do well enough. How would you like it if someone came over and broke your legs because you didn't level up quickly enough? Idiot.

    Wows economy runs on prison labour..
    Why am I not surprised?

    Hard labour camps are usually made for people that have committed the worst crimes such as murder and rape. They're not there for doing small things like googling the word freedom

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now