Tag Archives: virtual currency


Getting paid to party: what is the difference between work and play?

Posted on by Vili Lehdonvirta

… games like StarCraft in front of television audiences of millions. Hundreds of thousands of virtual gold farmers in China, Vietnam and elsewhere are paid an hourly wage to harvest treasures in online games like EverQuest 2. And most recently, companies like CrowdFlower have started to hire gamers and online community members to carry out real chores like categorizing search engine results and verifying links. The catch: these workers are paid in virtual currency.

No wonder some …

Tags: Adam Smith Crowdflower EverQuest games gold farmers Karl Marx StarCraft virtual currency work

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Lost in the Virtual Economy? Here’s a map

Posted on by Tommaso De Benetti

… hear more about goldfarming, crowdsourcing, distributed work and other areas of the so-called “virtual economy”.

As with any industry in its infancy, exactly what is meant by these terms is unclear, and rapidly evolving. (If you find it slightly confusing, don’t worry: it probably just shows you have been paying attention.)

This is why we are so excited about the new study Knowledge Map of the Virtual Economy by Vili Lehdonvirta (researcher at the University of Tokyo and …

Tags: Amazon Mechanical Turk crowd crowdsourcing gamesourcing microtask microwork National Library of Finland Optical character recognition University of Tokyo Ville Miettinen virtual economies virtual economy virtual item work

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Revenge of the gamers: an epic win for the world

Posted on by Tommaso De Benetti

… games had moved on since the days of Pong and Space Invaders. Despite the obvious coolness of my virtual worlds, mom would perpetually storm up to my room and start yelling about irritating trivia like “school work”, “doing your chores”, and the so called “real world” waiting outside the damn door.

Now, at last, game designer and researcher Jane McGonigal has finally given me the argument I so desperately needed as a child (given I started with a Commodore 16 at age five, …

Tags: commodore 16 crowd crowdsourcing crowdsourcing platform distributed work game designer jane mcgonigal massive multiplayer playing games space invaders superstruct virtual worlds world of wacraft wow

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Some work is born digital: from gold farmers to game masters

Posted on by Vili Lehdonvirta

… who specialize in helping people with stuck characters, missing items and abusive co-players in virtual game worlds. This, if anything, is work born digital!

Studies of time-use indicate that the time spent with digital media continues to grow even in countries where it is already high. As we think about the possible future impact of increasing ICT adoption on work and society in general, it makes sense to consider not only how existing processes will change because of our engagement with …

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Play the game of life

Posted on by Tommaso De Benetti

… food.

Soldiers of fortune

But this trend, it seems, only applies to the real world. In the virtual world – perhaps to satisfy our primordial urges – warfare and farming are booming. According to Geekologie, with 11m subscribers, there are more people playing the MMOG (massively multi-player online game) World of Warcraft than there are living in New York City. Together the 4.5m European and North American subscribers generate over $800m in revenue each year. The North Americans …

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