It's All Fun And Games Until... Well... It's Work
from the kill-dragons-or-file-documents? dept
It's no secret that online video games can be big business. We've already discussed how there are virtual sweatshops in places like China, where people are playing online games all day long just to accumulate virtual products to sell for real money. However, it looks like one new startup is looking to take that idea in a different direction: helping to make tedious tasks more enjoyable by turning them into more of a game. The idea is to take monotonous work tasks and move them into an online game, so that they seem a bit more "fun." Of course, a boring task is still a boring task, and you have to wonder if slaying dragons in alphabetical order is going to be more fun than simply filing. Still, it is interesting to see this as being a variety of different ideas all melding together. The first is the idea of using these virtual worlds as a platform for other companies to build valuable servies. The second is the idea of figuring out better ways to get humans to do boring tasks -- such as Amazon's Mechanical Turk offering. However, as the virtual sweatshop situation has shown, a boring, monotonous job is often boring and monotonous because it's naturally boring and monotonous... and no amount of virtual avatars mixed with fun and games is really going to change that.