The Guardian published on an article on their website about Chinese prisoners who are forced to play WoW. According to the article, they were crushing stones during the day and the guards forced the prisoners to gather WoW money during nights. All the money went to the prison guards’ pockets and they even beat the prisoners if they didn’t reach their quota.
I have heard about poor people playing WoW and gathering game money to be sold online. For example, this site sells WOW gold for quite cheap: 10.000 Gold for 18 US dollars. If I remember correctly from my experiences, that IS pretty much gold and requires a decent amount of grinding. BBC wrote on 24th September 2007 that already then WOW account farming was happening, quote from the article: “He said many buy a new account for 12 euros, then pay a gold farmer to power-level the character in 20 days and then when it had reached level 70 sell it back for 400 euros.”
With some short searching I wasn’t able to really dig deep into this matter. However, I came across an interesting book For The Win, that tells about future of virtual gamers and shadow economies. The book is free for all, though if you liked the book you can support the writer. Get the book behind this link.