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Tom Chatfield entrevistou Cory Doctorow acerca de seu novo livro – For The Win. Antes da entrevista propriamente dita, Tom explica um pouco a história:

Extrapolating from the relatively benign present of massively multi-player online creations like World of Warcraft, the novel imagines a future of exponentially more sophisticated games where three of the world’s 20 largest economies are virtual play environments controlled by the Coca-Cola corporation. Within these, vast Third-World labour forces serve the illegal but lucrative market of Western clients willing to pay hard currency for someone else to undertake the grinding labour of winning in-game gold and possessions; a shadowy profession that has come to be known as “gold-farming”.

Fantasioso? Que nada.

While this may sound like dystopian fantasy, the passages on gold farming come pretty close to reportage. As writers like American author Julian Dibbell, whom Doctorow cites, have witnessed, digital sweatshops really do exist in China and elsewhere. Labourers work long shifts for a pittance, sleeping in dormitories and returning in their spare time to play the very games that are their jobs.

Cory Doctorw explica:

“The thing that got me starting thinking about this was when American auto jobs started to move to Mexico. The United Auto Workers responded to that with basically racism: those dirty Mexicans have stolen our jobs. Now, the forbears of the auto workers movement saw industrial jobs move from town to town across America as trade unionists took hold, and also move from ethnic group to ethnic group, and their response wasn’t to demonise other workers, but to unionise them, to say we all have common cause. It is undeniably hard to go and organize a trade union in Mexico if you are an American. But once you get into videogame labour contexts, everyone is playing in the same virtual world. And they are playing in a world their bosses rarely venture into and have less proficiency in. This, I thought, is a really interesting turn of events.”

Pra fechar, uma parte foda da entrevista em que Cory Doctorw relaciona o crescimento dos videogames com a interdição dos espaços públicos para os jovens:

“Kids aren’t stopping playing outdoors because of video games. Kids are playing video games because they are being prohibited from public spaces. We have taken most of our public spaces away from young people, turned them into malls where you no longer have civil liberties; instead, there’s a user agreement over the door that says management has the right to deny entry at any time.”

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