Wednesday, March 20, 2019

How Video Games are Saving Venezuelans

The economy of Venezuela is in shambles. It is hard to find work and if you do, the hyperinflation makes your earnings worth next to nothing. Looking for work that will earn hard currency, some Venezuelans are turning to 'gold farming.' In many video games, 'gold farmers' undertake the repetitive tasks that earn them the in-game currency, usually gold, that they can then sell to other gamers for hard cash.

For Venezuelans, this has two huge advantages. First, you do not need to be hired. You simply need an internet connection. Second, you sell gold for more stable dollars or bitcoins and not Venezuelan Bolivars. The game of choice seems to be Runescape, because it is free-to-play and because it requires minimal bandwidth. There is so much Venezuelan gold farming that their recent power outages caused the price of one Runescape in-game item to plummet.
In October last year Amazon gave away a discounted Runescape signup and more than two-thirds of the registrants stemmed from Venezuela. 29-year-old Efrain Peña explained to Bloomberg in December 2017 that he played the game to support his wife and child. “We’ve never made this much before,” Peña described.

1 comment:

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