Male Gamers in China Turning to Prostitution to Fund Gaming
Online gaming addiction and poor work ethic blamed.
We all make sacrifices to fund our gaming habits. Some of us work harder and longer in jobs we hate, while others just restrict themselves to a strict diet of instant noodles to keep our subscriptions and pre-orders paid for. Some Chinese farmers have taken a different route, however, turning to prostitution to keep their accounts active.
The children of current farmers and migrant workers in China who more than often come from rural areas of the country, otherwise known as “Second Generation Farmers” (SGF,) often take up work in the city as migrant workers. While jobs available to migrant workers range from construction work to retail jobs, some SGF are unmotivated or lack work ethic.
Attracted by the idea of easy money, many SGF turn to sex work.
Despite sex work being a profitable occupation, sometimes bringing in as much as 3000 RMB ($476 US) a month -- a very large amount of money given the cost of living in China -- frequent business and game addiction takes its toll, leaving SGF sex workers tired and fatigued.
Southern Rural (南方农村报) tells the story of an SGF, explaining some of his daily routine.
Xiao Guan looks handsome and well dressed, standing about a 180cm tall. From the outside he looks normal, respectable, but he engages in an occupation that many despise -- he is a male prostitute, or as they call it in China, a "duck". After dropping out of school and heading into the city to find work, Xiao Guan began working as a "duck". He says he never considered working as duck or doing something else, instead it seems that life just arranged for him to do what he does.Xiao Guan came to Guangzhou at the age of 13 and a half after dropping out of school. Originally too scared to find work on his own, Xiao Guan, through the help of a "sister" he was living with, found a job at a hair salon. When he turned 15, he started working inside a nightclub. When he turned 17, he began working as a gigolo.Now 20, Xiao Guan has been working as a "duck" for about 3 years. He's been making money drinking and doing these things for quite a while, but he hasn't been saving it. On top of that, the toll on his body is getting worse as he exhibits some bad habits -- such as online gaming.Xiao Guan says he starts off his night around 10pm, entertaining clients such as bored housewives and mistresses. He makes about 500 RMB a night in tips if he only drinks with his clients. If he spends the night he can make upwards to 1500 RMB. He says if the women are ugly he will ask for more money.Once Xiao Guan is done with his business for the night, he says he visits a net cafe to play online games until the next afternoon. Then he starts his "day" again.
[Southern Rural, Via Kotaku]