According to the New York Times and NPR, wealthy online gamers are outsourcing the playing of games to Chinese workers! At first glance this sounds ridiculous: surely people who play online games enjoy playing them, so it makes no sense to outsource that activity. It still sounds somewhat ridiculous, but it turns out that there’s a method to this madness. From the NYT article:
…affluent online gamers who lack the time and patience to work their way up to the higher levels of gamedom are willing to pay the young Chinese here to play the early rounds for them.
“For 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, my colleagues and I are killing monsters,” said a 23-year-old gamer who works here in this makeshift factory and goes by the online code name Wandering. “I make about $250 a month, which is pretty good compared with the other jobs I’ve had. And I can play games all day.”
As they grind through the games, they accumulate virtual currency that is valuable to game players around the world. The games allow players to trade currency to other players, who can then use it to buy better armor, amulets, magic spells and other accoutrements to climb to higher levels or create more powerful characters.
I guess if you can hire someone to build your model railroad layout for you, you can also hire someone to play games for you. That’s logical, isn’t it?