You've probably seen this news report in The Guardian already, but just to forestall sixty thousand of you from emailing me about it:
Labour camp detainees endure hard labour by day, online 'gold farming' by night(More interesting stuff if you follow the link at the top. Go read.)
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 ... 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 labour," 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 there's a crack-down on gold farming in prison camps, I expect to see reports of the work being out-sourced to other countries with less savoury regimes: Burma and North Korea spring to mind. However, the bandwidth there is poor; if Greece or Portugal really do flake out of the Euro zone and suffer a consequential currency collapse, look for the gold farming to move to the depressed underbelly of Europe, where the packet latency to Blizzard's servers will be lower.
(I'm still boggling about the idea of being forced to play computer games in a prison labour camp. Although I'd like to point out that being forcibly deprived of sleep after working 12 hour hard labour shifts would be enough to take the pleasure out of any activity, however enjoyable it would normally be.)