Why Ride-Share Driving is the best video game of all time
As someone of the video game generation, I have played a lot of games. In the 1980s, games were very binary with only a few colors on the screen. But there I was, staring at the screen for hours. The games progressed over the years and the consoles and graphics improved. Now games seem to incorporate the real world around you through the use of cameras on your mobile phones and GPS location.
I very recently started driving for a rideshare company. Right from the start, I started to notice similarities between these new augmented reality video games and my driving app. The app displays a real map, and when a ride request appears, the phone screen glows pink with the person’s name and a 10-second timer to accept the ride. The experience is absolutely exhilarating. From the moment the request comes in, there is a feeling that you are playing a level in a game and that there is a goal to meet. My adrenaline pumps the whole time I drive.
Technically, the application software itself looks like an RPG. It has a profile that shows you stats like earnings, distance, time driven, miles, power zones, prime time, and peak areas. The map function constantly lights up from pink to dark pink to show where the heaviest requests are. If you didn’t realize that these locations correspond to real world locations, you would probably think you were playing a game. Similar to RPGs, if you do not accept a travel request, you will receive a negative acceptance rate. This is like losing health in a game. Also, your final score comes at the end of each trip when you receive payment for the trip.
The only similarity that scares me more is that there is an addictive nature inherent to the ride sharing app. It reminds me of the same level of addiction I feel to certain video games when I play them. When you drive, you feel like you want to keep going. As if you just wanted to take one more trip before the end of the night. Only to find you giving five more trips. Like in a video game where you keep playing telling yourself just one more level, just one more. So the next thing you know is that the sun is coming up, you played all night, and you have to go to work!