A new way of giving?

My colleague, Juliette Culver, is involved in an interesting project called Operation Sleeper Cell. It's an online multi-user game, with challenges, puzzles, etc. Juliette describes it thus:

It’s free to play and there are puzzles, creative challenges, a story
to follow, events in real life, and lots of top secret stuff that I’d
love to tell you about but can’t. The game lasts ten weeks and there
are new missions each week. If you enjoy things like treasure hunts,
you should enjoy this I hope!

Nothing particularly new there (although it looks a good example of its genre). The really interesting part is that they've developed it for Cancer Research. You can donate directly, if you feel you're getting good value from the game, or buy cells in the grid to advertise.

This strikes me as a good example of several behaviours combining beneficially. It takes the open source motivation to be involved in an interesting project to get free developers, adds in the 'pay what you like' freakonomics model from Radiohead and others, mixes up the addictive elements of gaming and sprinkles with people's tendency to want to give to charity.

Who knows if it'll work, but it could be a real model of fundraising for the future. Of course, if they did a 'be a virtual educational technologist' one, then they'd be on to a real winner.

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