Microwages

Players are generating content for developers for free. This happens whenever a player adds content that is used by players. Developers are incorporating this more and more into gameplay. Spore takes it a step further, having the game automatically upload player creations which they generate during necessary gameplay to a server which then analyzes and puts those creations into the games of other players.

In this piece I consider microwages – fair payment to players for the value of the creations they put into the game. One part of this is determining the wage amount. Spore is the example throughout.

This can be determined as other wages are determined – by supply, demand, and economic value. These laborers dynamically fill work opportunities. A highly skilled microlaborer in Spore is one who creates a very effective creature – one that can provide a challenge for expert players around the world. This is the laborer in low supply… any game player can make a mediocre creature. Another rare microlaborer is he who makes a very cool looking/behaving creature, creating delight among the other players.

One way to set the top end of the microwage pay scale is to assume the same payment as if the player was at the high end of the developer pay scale with respect to his creation. So if a top artist takes X time to make an equivalently valued creature, the amount of pay for that period of time would go to the microlaborer. If the microlaborer produces a better product than what the artist can produce, he gets a higher wage. Wages would then increasingly fall down the quality line.

As more and more creatures are made, less and less money would be paid out due to less value being added to the game.

For this to be implemented a late Beta of each game would be sent to a third party designated by law for the purpose of setting the microwage structure for games.

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