Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

Gambit Lets You Be a Mechanical Turk for Social Game Credits

If you could earn virtual coin in exchange for doing simple real world tasks, would you do it? Now there's a way to find out: Gambit, a company that specializes in monetizing social gaming, has teamed with Crowdflower, which manages crowd-sourced tasks for clients to create a weirdly novel hybrid system. Players who complete tasks for Crowdflower companies can earn social gaming credits in exchange for their work.

myFarm on FacebookThe system, dubbed Gambit Tasks, is a simple mechanical turk-like problem-solver. As Gambit puts it, imagine a Crowdflower client company has thousands of images it needs checking for copyright. They'd submit the task to Crowdflower, who'd forward it to Gambit and it would appear as an offer to Gambit players.

Basically, instead of relying on advertising or strangely spam-like commercial product tie-ins as some social gaming sites are doing (like the controversial Zynga games on Facebook) Gambit has realized there's money to be made by renting-out its gamers' time. From a gamer point of view, the system would seem to have significant benefits: Should you feel like upgrading an element of the game you're playing, you don't have to fork over any cash, subject yourself to extra advertising or sign up to some Internet-advertised service you don't really want—you merely have to be one member of the crowd solving a problem for Crowdflower. In the case of the example, you'd have to check a certain number of images for copyright to earn game credits in Gambit.

The idea is seemingly very simple, but will it work? One advantage in its favor is that younger games players (who surely make up a significant percentage of Gambit's customers) can take part, and gain enhanced game credits even without access to a credit card, or parental permission to sign up to unwanted Net deals. It's crowdsourcing put to a sensible use, versus the way designers use it sometimes, and it's much less scammy than some of the other social game credit systems out there.

[Via GambitBlog]