The black market gold you buy for your favorite MMO could have come from political prisoners in Chinese houses of correction according to a disturbing report in Britain's Guardian newspaper.
Playing games while locked up is a lot less fun when you're only grinding for gold and they beat you with truncheons for stopping. The article quotes a Chinese ex-con, who paints a picture of a Dickensian hellhouse, where political dissidents are forced to toil for hours farming for gold that is then sold on the internet, where the guards and prisons profit, but the prisoners get nothing.
"Prison bosses made more money forcing inmates to play games than they do forcing people to do manual labour," ex-con Liu Dali 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.
No specific games were mentioned, but either way, maybe this will make you think twice before you buy some gold on the black market...