After the gold digger, comes the gold farmer. A new career for the 21st century.
One thing the article does fail to address is that the companies that manage these MMORPGs consider gold farming to be a criminal (or at least less than honorable) act, because a. ) it may cause them to be liable for taxes on in-game monetary transactions under various national tax laws, and b.) most probably because they don't get a cut.
Though certainly there are many people trying to make a go of making a living off of Second Life.
I confess to being torn between condemning those who obsessively turn something meant for pleasure into a tool for profiting from others and applauding their initiative and pluck.
Although, in World of Warcraft, the problem is lazy players who want the fastest route to power and thus will pay others to play for them, so they can just run-around with a powerful character and whomp things. I have at least one friend who sold their account for about as much as I make in a month to someone who couldn't be bothered to level up their own characters. If this is the attitude they take with them to the workplace, they are in for disappointment. Or perhaps I am just jealous because I refuse to stoop to that kind of laziness. Easier to just write "I pwned this game!" on the cover and never even bother to install it. Cheaper too.
While in Second Life the problem is those who go beyond industriousness to plain greed. For instance, thinking they can sell small plots of land for more than it costs to by an entire in-game region directly form linden Labs. It is one thing to make something wonderful (or even something mediocre) and sell it, it is another to think you can corner the real estate market in hypothetically infinitely expandable game world. (By the way, for those who haven't figured this out yet, when real estate prices go to high from speculators trying to corner the market, Linden Labs builds more land, until the speculators go broke paying rent on the land they are trying to hoard and sell for prices nobody is willing to pay.)
So I suppose the two really are worlds apart in terms of their relations to people trying to profit of them in real life. Though in both cases, I guess I laud those who earn money or succeed through effort and don't have much respect for those who think they can get money or power easily with some seed capital and no real effort on their part.