While news articles that have dealt with gold farmers have implicated workers in Romania, Tijuana, and Indonesia, the belief that the majority of, if not all, gold farmers are Chinese is quite pervasive. The stereotype surfaces in many forum posts. On the official forums for World of Warcraft this past summer, one thread was titled "Chinese people make me mad". Another thread countered with the title "Stop calling people Chinese farmers". Posts such as the following reflected the general sentiment:
Hmm every farmer who sells gold and such on my server are Chinese, not sure how to go about this but the market is incredibly huge for Asians and especially Chinese to farm gold in these types games for the so called real life job where they are paid 15 cents an hour to farm gold or somewhere around that.
They're all Chinese and they all farm. Case... freaking... closed
And even players who are hesitant at applying the racial stereotype are very aware of its existence.
Gold farming is prohibited on World of Warcraft, but it seems to be a phenomenon that many focus on lately. Most specifically, players in the US have begun to focus blame for gold farming on Chinese players. [WoW, M, 20]
Other players make the link more explicit with imagery. Of course, this stereotype holds not just for World of Warcraft but for other MMOs as well. For example, Constance Steinkuehler's presentation of Lineage 2 showed these same sentiments among Lineage 2 players.
The extensive application of this stereotype becomes quite striking in certain cases. For example, the following French-Canadian player recounts an encounter in the game.
I'm French Canadian and it happen to me to answer in French to get rid of moron.
So there is this guy: "can I get gold, I will send it back to you by mail, I want to buy an epic"
Me: "pardon je ne parle pas anglais!"
Him: "WTF hey do you have GOLD"
Me: "Vraiment desole, je ne comprends pas!"
Him: "I'll report you, f*** farmer, china FARMER are the suckx!"
Other players explained their own perspectives in the following way.
Usually, they do not speak English though, and I have no knowledge of Chinese languages. And while I realize that I am stereotyping gold farmers as Chinese, it is borne out by my experiences with them. [WoW, M, 34]
I hate to stereotype all gold farmers as Chinese, but the ones I've run into really did seem like they weren't at all competent with the English language (though to be fair, that describes a fairly large chunk of the population, especially on the PvP servers). [WoW, M, 23]
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