Corporate Virtual Currency

When you first read about this new corporate email system (game, really), whereby workers spend virtual currency to send email and earn the same currency for received email, you might think it’s stupid. In fact, given five minutes to think about it, you already know how to game the system, don’t you?

Ya, me too.

First, if my company tried to float this idea, I’d say, “I’m not doing that.” Then, when they’d insist (as they ALWAYS do), I’d either approach it as A. Fine, I’m never sending email, fuck that, I’ll use voicemail, or B. I’m not changing my habits at all and if I end up short on email currency for the week, then bummer. Guy walks down to my office and asks why I didn’t email that we were critical on some production-whatever, “Man, I was tapped out for the week. Great game, isn’t it?”

UNLESS … unless … I could convert my email currency into real virtual currency, like Warcraft gold or EverQuest platinum, then I’m on board. And by the time that little experiment was over, I’d be the GOD of email currency.

And no, I don’t want to buy little pencils from the office store with my email currency — I want something GOOD.

My real life self-centeredness aside, I do like thinking that’s outside the box, whether it be work strats or game strats, and while much of what we learn in gaming translates well to real and work life, there’s plenty we learn that we shouldn’t bring into real life … like gaming the system, exploiting the mechanics, duping currency, perching the office supply room, or, forming uber guilds to farm the currency. These are the things that a gamer would excel at and a non-gamer would be noob fodder under our boots.

Every multiplayer game requires policing, not an immaterial cost either, I imagine — not just for out-and-out cheating, but also: is the game encouraging the behaviors we want it to encourage? I’m sure my Corporate Overlords don’t want me to drain Accounting’s currency allowance each week just cuz I can, but if the reward involves a better LCD monitor on my desk, then look out Accounting.

Corporate Overlords shouldn’t buy an email game and think that’s the end of the cost, be prepared to rake in savings! Policing is an ongoing, neverending, costly process because the strong will always exploit the weak and players will always choose the shortest, easiest route to the reward.

Interesting real world idea, anyways, even though I could game that system hardc0re.

2 thoughts on “Corporate Virtual Currency

  1. This idiotic idea obviously came from someone who has never stepped foot in a large office before. I work as a performance analyst for a fairly large bank, and part of my job involves emailing over 3000 department heads, managers, assistant managers and various other suited retards…

    Do I do this because I want to? Because I have an email addiction? No, I do it because its part of my job, a job i’d lose if I sat back and refused to send figures out because my currency pot was low; or if I was caught passing notes to the rotund and oddly scented girl sitting behind me “GIMME 10CREDS PLEEZ”

  2. This may be the dumbest scheme I’ve ever seen, but I will tip my hat to these folks at Seriosity if they manage to make some (actual) currency from it. Free Tip: cash out quickly before your customers catch on. In my world, the important peer-to-peer communication occurs almost exclusively over IM. Email is just for official corporate crap. Perhaps the most ridiculous aspect of this is that there is no amount of money, real or virtual, that can make a clueless management drone actually read an important email from a technical person. The only way to get the point across is to arrive as an expert outside consultant with a PowerPoint presentation and charge $175/hour plus expenses. But if I have to, I’ll play the system for sure. All my email chits will be gone on Monday morning, and I’ll just route all incoming to the trash. If the virtual currency ever shows up as real money in my paycheck, then every server in the data center will have to start sending me minute by minute updates…cha-ching!

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