Runescape

Some parts of the world are thrown into absolute political chaos, affecting the people in a really bad way. In the case of Venezuelans, things have become so bad that they've had to resort to any means possible to make ends meet, and this has actually made them targets in Runescape.

If that opening paragraph doesn't make sense and seems purely bizarre that's because the situation is bizarre. Polygon explains that due to the collapse of Venezuela's economy, inflation has skyrocketed, food is now hard to get a hold of, and basic survival has become extremely difficult for some people in the country. Some people have resorted to some unorthodox means of making cash, such as farming dragons in Runescape.

There were guides helping Venezuelans farming for gold in Runescape by killing dragons and then selling the gold at a markup for real money. This little gray market tactic is often called gold farming. It's been around for ages and usually big Chinese mafioso type businesses have had the gold farming market cornered.

Well, regulars from Runescape who are not from Venezuela took umbrage with the gold farmers from the South American country and over on the sub-Reddit for Jagex's game, a guide was made on how to target and kill Venezuelan players as a form of punishment.

The community set about organizing raids and kill parties, specifically targeting Venezuelan players.

A moderator ended up coming in and locking the thread, saying that the community's actions portrayed them as racist and heartless. The main issue being, that simply targeting a Venezuelan player doesn't mean you're targeting a gold farmer.

According to Polygon, Venezuelans make about $2 through $3 a day farming and selling gold in Runescape. It's not a whole lot but it helps them make more than what they're currently making working as a full-time professional due to the collapse of the economy. Reports from the New York Times indicates that minimum wage means that people are only making $5 a month.

Despite the act of targeting and killing Venezuelan players seeming harsh, the reality is that some players claim to be doing it to uphold Jagex's terms and conditions when it comes to selling gold for real money.

Most publishers have rules against that kind of behavior, and it also steps into some very murky legal territory when it comes to government regulation. Blizzard ran into similar problems with the Real-Money Auction House in Diablo 3, which caused all sorts of chaos.

Some people in the thread did suggest that maybe Jagex should hold an event to allow people to donate money or give to help out the Venezuelans suffering from the economic collapse taking place in their country.

There appears to be a standstill as to what people should actually do to help. Many recognize that selling gold is against the terms of service for Runescape but some still feel as if fellow gamers shouldn't be left to starve in real life, especially if farming for gold in a game can actually help feed families. It's a terrible situation all the way around for sure.

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