For a few months once a year, users across the world would join together in properly cited rage whenever that Wikipedia donation form would pop down while they were literally just trying to click search PLEASE WIKIPEDIA I DONATED LAST YEAR.
For years, visitors to Wikipedia complained about the progressively more annoying donation request tactics until finally—FINALLY—in the year two-thousand and fifteen, we progressed enough as a society to have Wikipedia open its own store. This is a brilliant move on Wikipedia’s part, as it gives users an official source for Wikipedia-related apparel, and also helps reduce the amount of donations needed better than bothering people until they stop using the site. Now, every college student looking to one-up that guy in the front row with the Reddit t-shirt has an official source for Wikipedia backpacks, shirts, track jackets, and water bottles.
But, that’s not what this article is about. This article is to introduce you to Wikipedia’s next money-making game.
Wikipedia’s next plan for funding the site is to develop WikiWorld, a top-notch Wikipedia-related MMORPG. While the game is still only in pre-production, word from Wikipedia programmer Brandon Harris is that development is set to begin in Q3 2015, with closed alpha testing beginning in early 2016. When finally released, users will pay a small monthly fee to have access to the game, helping support the site while they get to have fun. The gameplay itself will also help reduce administration costs as players will be performing minor moderation tasks while they play—disguised as quests in the game! Users will venture off to find and remove prank edits, then hunt down and ban the offending editors. Wikipedia really seems to be on to something, here!
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen games used to crowdsource much-needed (and otherwise tedious) tasks, but it waits to be seen how successful this is. Will people really pay to do what they could otherwise do for free, only with some fancy graphics slapped on? I guess we’ll be finding out some time next year. Until then, we’ll stick with the cherry tomato pencils.