The internet is abuzz with the story of a Chinese couple that's gotten in trouble for selling their three children for money to spend on online games. As it turns out, that's not the sort of thing people take kindly to no matter where you live.
According to Sanxiang City News, young couple Li Lin and Li Juan met at an internet cafe in China back in 2007 and soon realized that they had found the one person they'd briefly stop playing long enough to copulate with. Said copulation led to a bouncing baby boy the next year, followed by a baby girl in 2009.
As I've recently discovered, it's hard to balance gaming with children, so the couple sold their daughter for the equivalent of about $500. They soon realized that a convenient way to score a little more gaming time could also be a lucrative business, so they sold their son as well, scoring about $4,600 for the child (male children are at a premium in the country). Then they had another son, and sold him for about the same.
The pattern might have continued if not for Li Lin's mother, who turned the couple into the authorities after realizing her son and his girlfriend were selling off her grandchildren for gaming cash.
I know what you're thinking. "Hey Fahey, didn't your partner just have a couple of babies? Don't you have an extra?"
Emily gets really angry when I call one of the babies "Extra". Almost as mad as she gets when I suggest selling one so I can get gold to learn cold weather riding in World of Warcraft, or print out a sign and borrow one of the babies to act as a sales model. Apparently they are both our sons and we love them equally, no matter how much one of them spits up on me on purpose. Don't tell me it's not on purpose. I see the look in his eye.
On top of that, it's not exactly a sellers' market. You try shouting "WTS NEWBORN BABY BOY" on the WoW trade channel and see what sort of reaction you get. They're downright rude about it.
So no, selling your children for in-game gold is not a good idea. The mere suggestion makes people very angry. The baby isn't too happy about it either.
I suppose I'll just keep them both. Seems a waste to break up a perfectly good set anyway. They're nice babies that'll one day grow up into fine young men that will make me proud to be a parent.
Or I'll just teach them how to farm gold.
Chinese Couple Sells All Three Kids to Play Online Games [ABC News Radio via Gizmodo]