Others like Corne 21, a 21-year-old programmers from Arnhem, Netherlands, who was not willing to divulge his last name with OSRS Gold, placed bets on gold, and consequently real-world currency on other players' duels. "I like money. If it's in real life or in RuneScape that is, money is good to have" he told me in a call.
He buys much of his gold through middlemen, who purchase gold in bulk from gold farmers and then sell it to websites such as El Dorado or Sythe. Horn estimates that he's spent between 4,500 and 5,000 euros on what he believed at one point was the equivalent of a gambling addiction.
The moment players like Corne as well as Mobley came back into RuneScape with the appetites and wallets of adulthood The game's black market was booming. Players reported that there was a presence of Chinese gold farmers, but there were other players making money from the revival of RuneScape, including Venezuelans such as Marinez.
On the 12th of March in 2020, Marinez began to apply into a police academy Caracas, the capital of Venezuela and begin to work towards the career of a law enforcement officer. The next day following, the Venezuelan government announced the first two COVID-19 cases.
It then closed all schools, shut down the borders between Venezuela and the neighboring countries and put six states and Caracas within quarantines. Marinez was left stranded on the road and hunkered down at his uncle's home in a city a little fifty miles from the capital.
Within two years, Marinez came back to Maracaibo, "without any money in my pockets," he said. He tried to find a job but found nothing in the job market that was destroyed by the epidemic, as well as a lengthy economic recession.
Ten years before, Venezuela, a petrostate under the leadership of Hugo Chavez, witnessed a collapse in oil prices. As of 2017, the cost for a barrel plunged to close to $50, from a high of $100 along with the U.S. instituted wide-ranging sanctions against the Venezuelan dictatorship.
"When oil prices began to decline it was impossible to find money to import the products," said Alejandro Velasco Professor of New York University who specializes in Venezuelan politics with RS Gold, during an interview via phone. "As the result that there was not enough money in the real world for the country's economy."