It sounds like a digital alchemist’s question. How do you turn virtual gold into the real item? Hundreds of thousands of “gold farmers” in developing countries have found a lucrative answer. They have become entrepreneurs who make their living by profiting from online games. By assuming fantasy roles in these games, they kill monsters, mine ore or engage in other activities that earn “virtual gold” that they then sell to other players, often in rich nations, for real-world currency. Although it flaunts the rules of the game, buyers and sellers of this make-believe currency use the gold to determine the fate of a character in these fantasy games.