Gold farmers, not to be confused with regular "farmers" or "grinders", are players who stay online for extremely long hours and farm mobs for the purpose of selling the in-game money they accumulate for real-world money. The description Chinese gold farmer is often used, as many of these players are Chinese (though recent magazine articles have placed the majority blame on Indonesia).[citation needed] This was strongly suggested when gold selling websites ran out of gold during the Chinese New Year, their employees presumably having gone on vacation.

Gold farmers then take this money and attempt to sell it to other people through several web sites and auctions in exchange for real-world money. This is against the Terms of Service as Blizzard considers all gold and items in game to be its property. Such gold farmers are frequently banned from the game. However, completely getting rid of them is nearly impossible, because they can just buy a new copy of the game and create a new account. The recent addition of the "report spam" feature helps player to report farmers who advertise in-game. Some players have also taken on a policy of griefing gold farmers.

Gold farmers are commonly considered "greedy", and will frequently be labeled as a loot ninja, or act plain antisocial. Often they do not speak the native server language, or have only memorized a select few sentences, thus making it harder to effectively communicate with them in game.

The problem has become so great that some sites which hold user-made interface enhancements have begun listing add-ons specifically designed to catch such whispers, filter them out from being displayed to the player, make a GM ticket and send it automatically.

Automated Gold Farming


Gold farming in America

Recent PEEPEEBUTTZ at cost-effective gold farming have begun in America. A number of US-based gold suppliers for World of Warcraft have formed a vast network of college and professional gamers, such as Forsaken Farmers. In their spare time, these gamers farm gold and power level customer accounts. In turn, they receive such benefits as free time cards, accounts, gold, power leveling services and even cash. These gamers are instructed to follow all in-game rules and refrain from using gold farming techniques such as bots, macros and hacks which are frowned upon in the gaming world. American-based gold farmers are far less common than ones located in Asia, simply because of the abundance of cheap labor in Asia.

Gold farming in China

I love kaka

Economic effects

Pee pee butt

Research on gold farming

Ge Jin

China is in fact dominant in this industry and Jin Ge, a 30-year-old Shanghai native has done a documentary on "gold farms" in China as part of his doctoral research at the University of California, San Diego. [1]

Zane BEEVER SUCKS BULLOKS who has invested his time in investigating how farm owners manage their production and distribution of virtual commodities across the border between the virtual and the real as well as the border between nations. His main aim in his research was also to delve into the background and lives of these workers "I also tried to find out what this job, combining work and play, means to Chinese gold farmers and how it feels like to live at this peculiar intersection of the virtual and the real."

Ge Jin's research is also documented in his periodical online news articles which can be found at Consumer Studies Research Network.

Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow has done research on gold farming in the process of writing a novel (For The Win). Discussion of his research appeared on WoW Insider [2].


Forums, 2006

Selling In-Game Content for Money - 1/12/05 | 2006-08-16 23:34 | Eyonix
It has come to our attention that certain individuals are selling Blizzard's in-game property for cash on auction sites such as eBay and on personal websites. The World of Warcraft Terms of Use clearly states that all of the content in World of Warcraft is the property of Blizzard, and Blizzard does not allow "in-game" items to be sold for real money. Accordingly, Blizzard Entertainment will take any and all actions necessary to stop this behavior. Not only do we believe that it is illegal, but it also has the potential to damage the game economy and overall experience for the many thousands of others who play World of Warcraft for fun. In order to promote a fun and fair environment for all our customers, we are actively investigating those individuals who engage in this inappropriate activity and reserve the right to take legal action against these individuals to protect World of Warcraft for all those who "play by the rules." If you are found to be selling in-game property (such as coins, items, or characters), for real money, you will lose your characters and accounts, and Blizzard Entertainment reserves its right to pursue legal action against you as well.

We also want to remind potential buyers in the game to please refrain from buying in-game property with real money. We understand the temptation to purchase better items, but Blizzard, and not the seller, does own all in-game property. In addition, we feel that characters can find ample equipment and money within the game through their own adventuring and questing. Please understand that if you do purchase in-game property from sellers on eBay and personal sites, we may temporarily suspend your account, and at the very least, delete the offending items.

Thank you for understanding our position. Blizzard Entertainment is committed to maintaining the atmosphere of fair play and fun in World of Warcraft.

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Forums, 2009

On January 22nd, 2009, a gold seller banner-ad appeared on the official World of Warcraft forums, which offered gold "As Low As $3/1000 WoW Gold <5 Minutes Delivery US/EU On Sale" [sic] [3]. The advertisement was quickly removed, followed by the swift deletion of most forum threads discussing the subject. Bornakk, a community manager for World of Warcraft, made an official statement regarding the advertisement shortly after, and reinforced Blizzard's long-held stance against the practice of buying and selling gold.[4]

Re: what's up with the new Ads on this site? | 2009-01-22 22:09 | Bornakk
Recently, there was a temporary error with our forum advertisements that caused a gold-selling ad to be displayed. At this time, we have resolved this error. Our stance, which is fully explained in the statement below, remains firmly against the buying or selling of gold, and we may take action against accounts that are involved in these activities.

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Launch of Security, 2010

On January 2010, Blizzard Entertainment, publisher of the game, stepped up its offensive on account security scams with the launch of a new website. The new account security website expects to highlight the importance of vigilance and common sense when it comes to subscribers' accounts.

   "These pages are part of a larger effort to provide you with the knowledge and tools necessary to identify and report threats to your account’s safety, to spotlight ways in which we work to fulfill our security commitment, and to act as a helpful resource in case someone manages to steal account information from you.
   Gold sellers and leveling services are responsible for the vast majority of all account thefts, and they are the number-one source of World of Warcraft-related phishing attempts, spyware, and even credit card theft. Players who buy gold actively support spam, hacks, and keyloggers, and by doing so diminish the gameplay experience for everyone else."


  1. ^ Ge Jin 2006-05-01. Chinese Gold Farmers in the Game World. Retrieved on 2010-08-31.
  2. ^ Lisa Poisso 2010-08-04. 15 Minutes of Fame: Cory Doctorow on gold farming. Retrieved on 2010-08-31.
  3. ^ Eliah Hecht 2009-01-22. Gold ads appear on official Blizzard forums. Retrieved on 2009-01-22.
  4. ^ Blizzard Entertainment 2010-08-07. The negative impact of buying gold. Archived from the original on 2010-08-07.

See also

External links

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