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Tuesday · November 25 2003

If you're not familiar with massively multiplayer online games like Everquest, Star Wars: Galaxies, and Ultima Online, you'd never know that the secondary market (eBay) for virtual items (in-game homes, characters, weapons, and money) is huge. I've known people that have scraped a living out of their gaming addiction, but I never predicted that someone would create an offshore sweatshop out of this business.

IGE (Internet Gaming Entertainment) has 70+ employees, 65 of which are Chinese citizens in Hong Kong who are responsible for supplying the secondary market of virtual gaming items 24/7. If you're not clear on what I mean, 65 people are employed to play games such as Everquest for long hours and harvest items by doing quests, killing monsters, or performing repetitive trade skills in the game. IGE posts the auctions for items on eBay and when payment is received, hands the goods off in game to the auction winner. Get that?

Archived: Play » November 2003
© 2003 Jason Keglovitz