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Pt 101059

NEWS FROM THE FUTURE: Prisoners in lucrative internet gaming work

As a prisoner at the Jixi labour camp, Liu Dali would slog through tough days breaking rocks and digging trenches in the open cast coalmines of north-east China. By night, he would slay demons, battle goblins and cast spells.

Liu says he was one of scores of prisoners forced to play online games to build up credits that prison guards would then trade for real money. The 54-year-old, a former prison guard who was jailed for three years in 2004 for “illegally petitioning” the central government about corruption in his hometown, reckons the operation was even more lucrative than the physical labour that prisoners were also forced to do.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. I honestly thought this was a headline from The Onion at first.  Wow.  (no pun intended)

  2. I honestly thought this was a headline from The Onion at first.  Wow.  (no pun intended)

  3. I honestly thought this was a headline from The Onion at first.  Wow.  (no pun intended)

  4. Addidis says:

    Wow Ive played a few games with hordes of asian farmers. I generally made a point to seriously beat down the farmers (and steal their gold). If this is legit it would make me feel pretty horrible knowing how many ‘punishments’ Ive caused. Perhaps now I know why they came back in such force when I took their golds.

    1. Alan Ball says:

      It’s legit, unfortunately. :(

    2. Alan Ball says:

      It’s legit, unfortunately. :(

    3. Alan Ball says:

      It’s legit, unfortunately. :(

    4. Stephen Carr says:

      that is a good reason to spread this word across the whole internet.  the “game” is no longer a game, and there are becoming more and more real world ramifications to it.  people need to know, that human beings are being punished due to the actions that someone else takes in a a game.

    5. Stephen Carr says:

      that is a good reason to spread this word across the whole internet.  the “game” is no longer a game, and there are becoming more and more real world ramifications to it.  people need to know, that human beings are being punished due to the actions that someone else takes in a a game.

    6. Stephen Carr says:

      that is a good reason to spread this word across the whole internet.  the “game” is no longer a game, and there are becoming more and more real world ramifications to it.  people need to know, that human beings are being punished due to the actions that someone else takes in a a game.

    7. Stephen Carr says:

      that is a good reason to spread this word across the whole internet.  the “game” is no longer a game, and there are becoming more and more real world ramifications to it.  people need to know, that human beings are being punished due to the actions that someone else takes in a a game.

    8. Stephen Carr says:

      that is a good reason to spread this word across the whole internet.  the “game” is no longer a game, and there are becoming more and more real world ramifications to it.  people need to know, that human beings are being punished due to the actions that someone else takes in a a game.

  5. Getting sent to jail with the punishment being playing video games. Some people might at first — albeit foolishly — think this was not much of a punishment.

  6. Dave Brunker says:

    Interesting but does this really related to making?

    1. Addidis says:

      It has to do with making the world we live in. Im sorry but realizing the games you play for a fun , where youve been trying your hardest to ‘win’ (when you are out of hand good at it) are getting people real life beatings is something straight out of a horror movie.

  7. See Cory Doctorow’s book For the Win.

  8. See Cory Doctorow’s book For the Win.