Tuesday, January 19, 2010

MMO Currency Farmers: Give em a Break

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Think for a minute if you had two choices to provide for your family and that paid equally as well: Play an MMO for hours, or become a coal miner? If you’re on this website I’m pretty sure playing an MMO is definitely the more viable option, unless you think it’s cool to look like Ben Stiller in the mine scene from Zoolander every single day.
Movie references aside, there are some people in Eastern Europe and in Asia that do have to make this choice. From what I’ve seen, the MMO farmers get a hell of a better deal than the coal miners and how can anyone really blame them? The farmers get to work in a clean, dorm style hall where everyone is sitting down playing video games while the coal miners are getting down and dirty and risking their health.
Just like you and I, these farmers are real people. The difference is that they happened to be born in a country that doesn’t always have very promising economic prospects. Skilled labor, such as engineers, are as affordable as McDonald’s workers are in the US. What are the options for the uneducated, then? That’s where the MMO farms come in. It gives these people a chance at life and gives them an opportunity to work in a safe and clean environment. It’s much better deal than being a coal miner or factory worker.
Everyone loves to hate MMO currency farmers, mostly because it’s easy group-think. “They ruined the economy of the game,” “Damn Chinese farmers taking my mobs,” or, my favorite, “He’s probably a farmer!”, always unleashed on the party member that doesn’t respond to chat.
Personally, I don’t think that the farmers ruin the economy of the games. Things get more expensive because players get higher levels and there’s more money going around. On top of that no one aside from the hardcore faithful wants to go to a low level zone just to farm things they need to level a craft. For those Warcraft players out there, you know how much it sucks to level blacksmithing or jewelcrafting if you had to go out and mine every single ore. How much would you spend in gold to do the same? Probably a lot, and the farmers could save you time if you’re willing to part with a little cash.
They offer a service and if you’re like myself and don’t have many hours to play a game, what they have is pretty compelling. I don’t have the time or will to sit down for hours and hours just to get some gold to buy the things I want. My downtime is better spent having fun, not grinding out something so I can have fun later. Buying currency is no different than going to a movie or a bar. If I go to a bar I can drop $50 easily in one night and only enjoy it for a few hours. On the other hand if I spent $50 to buy some World of Warcraft gold I’d have days of fun rather than just a few hours. It makes economic sense to me to buy the gold if you don’t have the time to play as others do.
Now don’t get me wrong, if a farmer cheats, that’s not condonable. Those people should be banned because their money is not earned legitimately. However, the ones that do farm it just like you and I do deserve to be treated with some respect because let’s face it; it’s either they do this or work at a crappy job.
The next time you see a farmer, respect them as a fellow human being. All their trying to do is provide for themselves or their family. If you still feel strongly against the farmers, gank them. There’s nothing that says you can’t and it might even add a little fun to their day. Either way their getting paid the same but let them have some dignity.

GameGavel.com Writer - Smiling Cobra

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