In perhaps the strangest political move this political analyst has heard of, North Korea's much-maligned leader has dispatched gamers (called 'gold-farmers') in order to collect virtual loot, sell it on international black markets and ultimately raise money for the country's nuclear program and for Kim Jong-Il's ostentatious lifestyle. Strange, isn't it?
Allegedly, these gold-farmers constitute a special division in the North Korean military tasked with raising funds for the nation's decrepit economy. However, upon amassing over $6 million rather quickly, other illegal endeavors were sacrificed in favor of the low risk presented by killing virtual enemies, collecting their gold and pawning it to other gamers via virtual markets. These gold-farmers work in shifts around the clock and are supposedly stationed in a secret base in Northern China -- apparently, the bandwidth speeds there are amazing!
The virtual world is growing in relevance and importance with each passing day. If North Korea has turned virtual communities like World of Warcraft and Lineage into hotbeds of terrorist activity, what's next?