January 28th, 2005

breaking bad

Fantasy sweatshop

You may already know that virtual items in multiple user online games can be bought and sold 'in real life' - i.e. I give you five real dollars, and you give me a magic sword in EverQuest. John Quiggin on Crooked Timber reports:

"At the Creative Commons conference last week, I heard a story to the effect that when the owners of one of these games tried to prohibit item trading they were sued and, in the course of litigation discovered that the plaintiff ran a sweatshop in Mexico where workers participated in the game solely to collect salable items. "

Are we living in a decadent society yet?