Sunday, February 24, 2013

Curiosity Killed The Crowdsourcee

Curiosity, for those who have lives (unlike those of us who live under rocks and have time to waste playing games on our smartphones) in a new game released just a few weeks ago for iOS and Android. Unlike many games, there's no storyline and no actual point system. What Curiosity does have is a goal and competition.

Imagine a box, floating in the air. Imagine this box is covered in smaller boxes, layer after layer, surrounding and protecting it. At the center of the box is a nugget. The nugget might be gold or it might be pyrite. You want to reach the center first, so you start chipping away at the outside.

Along with everyone else in the world. That's right, you all have to share a box. There's only one, and it only has one center. Whomever gets there first, gets the nugget.

That's curiosity, literally, in a nutshell.

Now, the smart ones will say, "Well, why don't I just dig right through, one chip off each layer?" Well, you can't. That's one of the few rules. Every layer has to be fully demolished before anyone can start in on the next layer.

"So what? It still shouldn't take too long."

Yes, well, there's an indeterminate number of layers. No, the developers won't say. And each layer is a few billion blocks.


So here is crowdsourcing at its cruelest: using the masses for a brute-force solution. Except that this "puzzle" (if you can really even call it that) isn't working to solve a solution, and if it is, the solution is unknown. This game is long-winded just for the sake of being long-winded. Scores of hours will invested by each and every player just for a chance of getting to the mystery.

Consider how much money you could make (or advances you could make) if you spent that time actually being productive (by actually working on a genuine crowdsourcing project).

Or you could just be like me and advertise yourself in temporary chippings in the sides of the box. I've gotten a few dozen new visitors from people googling "" in the past week, and Curiosity is their most likely source.