But let's leave the historical parallel behind for now and focus more on gold farmers in MMOs. Because of the presumed nationality of gold farmers, some players use an interesting litmus test on probable farmers.
I've encountered a lot of 'probable' gold farmers in high level zones. I tried speaking to them asking them to stop, if they answered in Chinese, I harassed them by luring mobs to them to interrupt their game-play. If they speak English or any other non-Chinese language, I leave them alone.
In Felwood, there was this annoying level 60 rogue that was farming all the Jadefire demons for felcloth. I asked her: 'Are you farming for felcloth?' and she responded with 4-5 chinese words. Since I was with my hunter, I aggroed about 3 other Jadefire demons, ran up to her, used Feign Death and the 3 demons went up to her. [WoW, M, 24]
In other words, it is not the behavior per se that is the damning piece of evidence as to whether a player is a gold farmer, but rather, whether they are fluent in the English language. Other players are understandably troubled by this double standard.
I've never run into someone I assumed was a gold farmer, mostly because (unlike many people) I don't tend to assume that someone who doesn't speak English is automatically a gold farmer. I've seen people assume that because someone isn't a native English speaker and they see them playing for 8 hours straight they must be a gold farmer. Mind you, they know this person is playing there 8 hours straight why? Because they also are playing in the same general place for 8 hours straight. But because Player A used Chinese-inflected English ('No ABC ba') they must be a gold farmer, because apparently Asians don't play games for fun. [/sarcasm] [CoH, F, 36]
I really feel though that about half of the people that are accused of being farmers are just people who cannot speak English that well. [WoW, M, 27]
One player elaborates and points out that blame is always easier to place on "other people".
There's also the racist aspect of the farmer thing, and that really bothers me. In general chat (visible to all players in a given area) there are regular Asian racial slurs, calling people Chinese gold farmers or straight up chinks or gooks, or making remarks about slant eyes. If you play a game for hours on end trying to achieve some goal and it's snatched out from under you it's a lot easier to assume the opportunity was stolen by someone with impure intentions rather than by someone like yourself. [WoW, M, 22]
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