Ever willing to explore the hidey-holes of thought, the Terra Nova blog has a discussion up this week talking about play as production
. IE: What makes people willing to engage in 'productive play', like the crafting mini-games of Star Wars Galaxies or A Tale in the Desert? They also touch on the more pragmatic 'productive play', gold farming. From the article: "The outsourcing of labor is another interesting trajectory. We know that people outsource, for instance, 'Adena farmers' in Lineage, low-wage workers who farm for game currency to sell on the 'black market.' This creates interesting class and even race tensions, such as the Lineage 2 scenario described at State of Play 2004 by Constance Steinkhueler. Here, Adena farmers typically took the roles of female elf warriors (primarily for farming efficiency reasons); as a result, this race/class in the game began experiencing racial slurs and attacks by players who associated it with Adena farming."