Prisoners in China are allegedly being used to ‘farm gold’ in online games, which is then sold to gamers by prison guards.
A report in The Guardian cites the testimony of Liu Dali, a former prisoner at the Jixi Labour Camp in Heilongjiang province, who was imprisoned in 2004 for “illegally petitioning” the central Government about corruption in his hometown.
He alleges that he was forced to break rocks and dig trenches during the day, and was one of around 300 inmates who were forced to play online games through the night.
“Prison bosses made more money forcing inmates to play games than they do forcing people to do manual labour,” said Liu. “There were 300 prisoners forced to play games. We worked 12-hour shifts in the camp. I heard them say they could earn 5,000-6,000 Yuan (£470-570) a day. We didn’t see any of the money. The computers were never turned off.”
Liu stated that if he couldn’t fill his work quota, he was made to stand for long periods with his arms in the air or was beaten with plastic pipes.
“We kept playing until we could barely see things,” he said.