Apparently Chinese prisons are taking “grinding” to a whole new level.
According to an article in the UK daily Guardian Wednesday:
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 [mostly World of Warcraft according to another report. – ed.] 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.
"Prison bosses made more money forcing inmates to play games than they do forcing people to do manual labor," Liu told the Guardian. "There were 300 prisoners forced to play games. We worked 12-hour shifts in the camp. I heard them say they could earn 5,000-6,000rmb [£470-570] a day. We didn't see any of the money. The computers were never turned off...
"If I couldn't complete my work quota, they would punish me physically. They would make me stand with my hands raised in the air and after I returned to my dormitory they would beat me with plastic pipes. We kept playing until we could barely see things," he said.
I personally dislike in great heaping buckets all those online gaming beasts with their ungainly “M” starting acronyms—for me it's a sitting for hours at a blinking screen kinda thing—but...but...
I am at a loss for words for something that reads more like Swift's satire than a stone-cold, tangible-real outcome of a corner of the gaming industry.