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Farming refers to a gaming tactic where a player, or someone hired by a player, performs repetitive actions to gain experience, points or some form of in-game currency. Farming usually involves staying in a game area with a spawn point that generates endless numbers of items or enemies. The player collects the items or continuously kills the enemies for the experience, points and currency.
Farming is also known as gold farming, point farming or experience (XP) farming.
Farming is just like grinding experience points early in a game to expedite battle advancement. In fact, farming is extreme grinding.
A wealthy gamer may outsource farming by using real currency to purchase game items or hire a farmer from another country to play a character while offline. In 2005, an estimated 100,000 Chinese gamers were employed as full-time farmers by role-playing gamers (RPG) in other countries. In May 2011, the Guardian reported that Chinese prisoners were forced to farm items and experience that were sold to online gamers, with proceeds directed to the prison.
Many online games strictly prohibit farming, in terms of hiring another person for real world currency, but actual enforcement has been problematic.