Gaming for a cause

A lot of games these days involve playing for a cause- LIl’ Green Patch, for example, is a simulation game where you plant and tend your garden, but the time and effort you spend playing is used to help save rainforests. There are a number of games that rely on this advertisement-fueled model in which advertisers pay for the time gamers spend watching their ads- like Freerice.org.

But what if gaming could really make a difference? An article on how gaming is used to match up proteins was extremely inspiring because playing the game has a direct impact. It’s so different from- say- playing Tetris or Solitaire and having an advertiser donate to some charity. Not that anything is wrong with that, but it’s not so motivating.

This is somewhat of an unreal scenario, but what if clicks could actually calculate into energy? What if a game on digging irrigation ditches really operates a machine in some dry land? What about all of those menial tasks that don’t require so much expertise but is difficult to find someone to do them? What if a game operates a deep sea robot that goes around collecting specific evidence? What if crimes/murder investigations become public cases enabling people to get involved in solving it?

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