For anyone who’s ever played an MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) game like World of Warcraft or Lord of the Rings Online, you know it can be a lot of fun. What you might not know is that if you’re really good at it, play it just right, and know where to advertise, you can make a lot of money from it. There are certain quests or missions that can be repeated over and over for maximum experience points and/or gold; that gold can be turned into cash. People who do this are known as gold farmers; it’s illegal; thousands of people around the world do it for profit.
In For the Win, Cory Doctorow goes into depth with this world, revealing the teenagers that love to play, but also the children in India, Malaysia and China that work nonstop grueling hours for little money. But those who play these games, learn and know a lot about what they do. Doctorow takes it up a notch by having these slave laborers fight back, forming unions and protective groups to fight for their rights as employees. The result is a fascinating and fun story that kids, teenagers, or adults can enjoy.
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Originally written on June 9 2010 ©Alex C. Telander.