The Video Game That Pays You To Play

'Zip it up!' is a mobile app with a difference. Technically it has the potential to pay you money for playing. I say 'technically' because, of course, there is a catch. There's always a catch.

In this case there are a couple of catches. But first, some context.

'Zip It Up!' is a mobile game created by People's Choice Credit Union in an attempt to convince people to sign up for a new service called Zip, an account that claims to provide customers with easy access to their money "online, anywhere and anytime". In this game your onscreen avatar is an actual goddamn wallet and you attempt to catch money as it magically falls from the sky, potentially into your wallet if you position it in the right place at the right time.

The idea is that the person at the top of the online leaderboards, at the end of each week, will have the money they 'earned' in the game deposited into their actual Zip account.

"You play the game and if you set the week’s highest score you get that score – in dollars – deposited into your People’s Choice account,” said People’s Choice Managing Director Peter Evers.

It seems like utter insanity. Also: the complete end game in terms of interactive experiences and money. I don't really know how to parse this. It's a video game that lets you accumulate money, which is then potentially transferred digitally into a digital account which store actual money. But then money is technically 'virtual' anyway, since it's supposed to be representative of a small portion of gold! We're getting pretty meta here.

Economics is hard. And I am confused. The idea is to clearly lure people into joining the Credit Union, but will it work? How will it work? Will it crumble when people inevitably break the game or, perhaps worse, master it? What happens when the same person wins each week and becomes incredibly good at the game? Will People's Choice simply stop paying out? Will they nerf the game? Is any of that fair? Will consumers get mad?

In the terms of conditions it appears as though People's Choice will only pay out $300 each week. That answers one question at least...


    They must of heard of this guy and were getting worried:

    Money aint on the Gold standard anymore though

      Haha. I, too, was going to make this nitpicky comment.

      Perhaps there's room for a game that teaches people about the zany world of our current monetary system. Like, each time Mario gets a coin, he promises that coin to as many people as he likes, then sells those promises of a coin to others, getting more coins with the resulting return, and goes and gets more coins on which he can promise to more people... getting more 1-Ups than what he knows what to do with.

        But eventually the coins he owns only buy half a mushroom due to inflation.

        I feel like Dark Souls would be a good analogue of the international monetary system... Monstrously difficult to understand (most of the time you're not sure exactly what's going on), the world is full of imposing ghouls/financial entities hell bent on stealing your soul/money and even when a 'friendly' agent drops in to give you a hand you can't be sure they won't try to destroy you/bankrupt you.

        Last edited 25/03/14 4:00 pm

    Seems like it would be a fun game for a small, casual audience but once there’s a large audience there’s always going to be those hard-core people grinding for hours to win. The cash prize will only make them grind harder. Anyway, Seems like a cool little idea that could be beneficial for both users and the advertiser.

    If you take a look at the terms and conditions if you win once then you will not be in the running for another time, also only runs for six weeks.

    Hmmm, what stops someone from building a robot that plays the game for you. Ala Flappy Bird?

    Had an awesome score first time i played now i can barely get close :(.

    Last edited 25/03/14 7:21 pm

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