'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...