What can free money tell us on the virtual black market?

Kyungmoon Woo, Hyukmin Kwon, Hyun Chul Kim, Chong Kwon Kim, Huy Kang Kim

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

15 Citations (Scopus)


"Real money trading" or "Gold farming" refers to a set of illicit practices for gathering and distributing virtual goods in online games for real money. Unlike previous work, we use network-wide economic interactions among in-game characters as a lens to monitor, detect and identify gold farming networks. Our work is based on a set of real in-game trade activity logs collected for one month in year 2010 from the world's second largest MMORPG called AION (with 3.4 million subscribers). This is the first work that empirically (i) shows that "free money network" is a promising measure/approximation for detecting and characterizing gold farming networks, and (ii) measures the size of the free money net and in-game virtual economy in a large-scale MMORPG in terms of the cash flow.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM 2011 Conference, SIGCOMM'11
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventACM SIGCOMM 2011 Conference, SIGCOMM'11 - Toronto, ON, Canada
Duration: 2011 Aug 152011 Aug 19

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM 2011 Conference, SIGCOMM'11


OtherACM SIGCOMM 2011 Conference, SIGCOMM'11
CityToronto, ON


  • Gold farming
  • Online game security
  • Real money trading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


Dive into the research topics of 'What can free money tell us on the virtual black market?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this