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Chinese Prisoners Forced to Play World of Warcraft

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A former prisoner of a Chinese labor camp claims guards are forcing detainees to play online games as part of a huge money-making scam.

Liu Dali told The Guardian website that guards traded the credits inmates built up playing games such as World of Warcraft for money.

"The computers were never turned off."

"Prison bosses made more money forcing inmates to play games than they do forcing people to do manual labor," he said.

"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 a day.

"We didn't see any of the money. The computers were never turned off."

Dali -- not his real name -- is aged 54 and was sent to Jixi re-education camp in Heilongjiang province in northeast China, in 2004. He said he would spend his days either breaking rocks or assembling car seat covers and his nights playing computer games.

Dali said that if he didn't complete his credit quota, the guards would punish him: "They would beat me with plastic pipes. We kept playing until we could barely see things." The building up and trading of game credits is known as gold farming. Millions of gamers around the world pay real money for the credits in order to save hours of playing time.

Gold farming is rampant in China and other developing nations. Many Chinese gamers have full-time jobs as gold farmers but The Guardian story highlights the first time it has been practiced in labor camps.

Quoting figures from the China Internet Center, the paper says almost £1.2 billion ($1.65 billion) worth of virtual currencies was traded in China in 2008.

I don't know if someone already posted this in the off topic section but seriously, that is saddening
 

Dr Super Good

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I say it depends on what crime he commited in the first place. If it was a serious crime (murder, assult, armed robbery, high value theft, drugs, illegal material) then he probably diserves that kind of punishment and I am sure it will make him think twice before ever commiting such a serious crime again. However if it was for lighter crimes, the extreeme work conditions might have been too much (I would limit people to 16 hours work a day and would only resort to punishments if they refused to work and do remember that WoW is apparently "fun").

It is a good idea to get prisoners to work. The money can help cover the debt they leave to society and I strongly feel that manditory work should be adopted in all prision systems. There should be limits to the quantity and type of work that the prisoners are forced to do based on their offense. Minor offenses should avoid hard labour and excessive working times. Major offenses and reoffenders should have to work harder and longer (as part of their punishments).
 

Dr Super Good

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"You have been a very evil person, here play some video games!"
No its more like...
You have been a very evil person... You will play video games 12 hours a day every day for the duration of your sentance and if you do not play well enough you will be punished.

It could be considered ironic punishment, but it still is a punishment as they are forced to do it willingly or not.
 
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No its more like...
You have been a very evil person... You will play video games 12 hours a day every day for the duration of your sentance and if you do not play well enough you will be punished.

It could be considered ironic punishment, but it still is a punishment as they are forced to do it willingly or not.

What I meant with my post a bit further up is that, even if we have death sentences, it doesn't seem like it stops crime from happening.

And which game developer would want to have a label on their game that its a torture to play in long periods? ;)
 
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Dr Super Good

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I really like how the prison forces them to do illegal things too :)
Nope... What they are doing is perfectly legal, where they are. The USA is not the world.

For example, you can be a prostitute completly legally in Germany or Switzerland, however if you are one in most places in the USA it is against the law and thus illegal there.

China does not agree to most international copyrights and agreements. I do not think the USA ToU for WoW even applies in China.
 
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This is plain weird...

Makes sense in a way, using prisoners to maintain prison economy if done often, and personally as long its monitored and kept within human rights limit I see no problem there...

Perhaps a slight problem with blizzard's user agreement been broken (thee one you must sign to play), but that's cooperate business, not mine...
 
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That punishment is really weird, and how come you let a 54 year old play? I know most people that age can't even use a psp or a phone, maybe some can but most of them would rather break rocks cause its the thing they know. But I would rather play WoW than break rocks and stuff.
 
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This is plain weird...

Makes sense in a way, using prisoners to maintain prison economy if done often, and personally as long its monitored and kept within human rights limit I see no problem there...

He said he would spend his days either breaking rocks or assembling car seat covers and his nights playing computer games.

Dali said that if he didn't complete his credit quota, the guards would punish him: "They would beat me with plastic pipes. We kept playing until we could barely see things." The building up and trading of game credits is known as gold farming. Millions of gamers around the world pay real money for the credits in order to save hours of playing time.


I don't feel that this is within the humans right.
 
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Okie dok, go to China and rebel against it.

I probably won't, but it still doesn't mean that I will accept it.
The goverment in Syria and Libya are killing their own population, should I accept that too?
Lol, then they would become top WoW players. What a weird punishment. Punish me to play sc2 a lot, hahahah.

Pretty sure there is a difference between farming gold and being a top PVP / PVE player. :)
 
I say it depends on what crime he commited in the first place. If it was a serious crime (murder, assult, armed robbery, high value theft, drugs, illegal material) then he probably diserves that kind of punishment and I am sure it will make him think twice before ever commiting such a serious crime again. However if it was for lighter crimes, the extreeme work conditions might have been too much (I would limit people to 16 hours work a day and would only resort to punishments if they refused to work and do remember that WoW is apparently "fun").

It is a good idea to get prisoners to work. The money can help cover the debt they leave to society and I strongly feel that manditory work should be adopted in all prision systems. There should be limits to the quantity and type of work that the prisoners are forced to do based on their offense. Minor offenses should avoid hard labour and excessive working times. Major offenses and reoffenders should have to work harder and longer (as part of their punishments).

Makes me think of soviet and fascist labour camps. Good to see our moral have evolved since the cold war... :|

Both types of labouring prisons are morally wrong, as they both destroys the physic and physiologies of the prisoner, which can only be put under the terms torture.
 
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Remember this isn't playing WoW, this is grinding in WoW.

You farm gold for 12 hours or be beaten with rods.

The levels of fun drop a little bit.

This.

Makes me think of soviet and fascist labour camps. Good to see our moral have evolved since the cold war... :|

Both types of labouring prisons are morally wrong, as they both destroys the physic and physiologies of the prisoner, which can only be put under the terms torture.

and this.
We're supposed to be a civilization with standards, let's show it and not go all into "HE DID SOMETHING WRONG, LET'S PUNISH HIM!".
 
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We're supposed to be a civilization with standards, let's show it and not go all into "HE DID SOMETHING WRONG, LET'S PUNISH HIM!".

How do you suggest we raise this standard of civility without punishment? Personally I agree with your thoughts on this kind of punishment as morally wrong, but I believe in ironic punishment and thus agree with Dr. SuperGood when he suggests that severe crimes should be met with severe punishment.

If a death threat cannot ward off crime, that's too bad for the person committing it. If he/she has nothing to lose, then you can't do anything about it.
 
How do you suggest we raise this standard of civility without punishment? Personally I agree with your thoughts on this kind of punishment as morally wrong, but I believe in ironic punishment and thus agree with Dr. SuperGood when he suggests that severe crimes should be met with severe punishment.

If a death threat cannot ward off crime, that's too bad for the person committing it. If he/she has nothing to lose, then you can't do anything about it.

So by having a morally wrong prison system we will raise the moral standard?
 
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Problem lies with moral being subjective and not objective, what one see as just another might see as torture and what one see as torture another might see as not enough...

There is no universally accepted moral code, and probably never will be. for example I fully support an "eye-for-an-eye" approach, but half my family thinks its too cruel to execute every murderer, violate every rapist and so...(and some think you should punish people with something even worse then the original crime...)
 
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