As players such as Corne and Mobley return into RuneScape

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Others like Corne 21, a 21-year-old software developer from Arnhem, Netherlands, who declined to give his last name, put bets on gold and as a result, real-world currency in duels with players. "I like money. It doesn't matter if it's real or in RuneScape the world of RuneScape, money is a nice thing to have," he told me in an interview with RS Gold.

He purchases the majority of his gold via middlemenwho buy gold in large quantities from gold producers and then resell it on websites such as El Dorado or Sythe. Horn estimates he's spent between 4,000 and 5,000 euros fueling what he thinks at one time was an addiction to gambling.

As players such as Corne and Mobley return into RuneScape with the appetites and pockets of adulthood The game's black market was booming. The players still spoke of the existence of Chinese gold-miners, however, there were other players who profited from RuneScape's revival: Venezuelans like Marinez.

On March 12 of 2020, Marinez set out to enroll at a police academy in Caracas the capital city of Venezuela, and work toward a career in law enforcement. The following day when the Venezuelan government announced the first two cases of COVID-19.

The government also closed all schools, closed the frontiers between Venezuela and other countries and placed six states and Caracas in quarantine. Marinez was stuck in transit and lodged at his uncle's house in a city more than 50 miles away from his capital.

Following two and a half months of recuperation, Marinez came back to Maracaibo, "without any money in my pockets," he said. Marinez tried to find work however he could not find anything in an economy devastated by the epidemic, as well as a lengthy economic recession.

Ten years earlier, Venezuela, a petrostate under the presidency of Hugo Chavez, witnessed a plunge in oil prices. In 2017, the price of a barrel dropped to close to $50, from a record high of more than $100, along with in the same year, the U.S. instituted wide-ranging sanctions against Venezuela's authoritarian government.

"When oil prices began to drop in the early 2000s, there was not enough money to import products," said Alejandro Velasco, a professor at New York University who specializes in Venezuelan politics, in a phone interview. "As a result it was impossible to find cash to support the economy."

Venezuela's bank accounts were empty after the country spent its most recent oil windfall on social services such as subsidised healthcare, food, and literacy programs. Chavez also culled perceived dissenters from the oil industry following an attempted military coup which affected production.

The widespread corruption within the government further damaged the economy with RS 2007 Items, according to Paul Angelo, a fellow at the Council for Foreign Relations who is a specialist in Latin American politics.