Bob is just an ordinary guy. He is 35 years old, no job, not married, living in a basement, spending hours on the Internet. He has worked for a company that got broke recently and since then, he is just spending hours on the web, loosing his precious time on some social networks and chat-rooms, nothing important.
Bob starts his ordinary day, smokes a cigarette, drinks a cup of coffee, starts a computer, reads his mail.
"Nothing interesting", Bob thinks, "I wish these guys stop sending me these stupid emails. Do they think I am an idiot; all those fake work at home and earn thousands of dollars emails. If it were so easy to work at home for only one hour and earn 5000 dollars a month nobody would go to work. All of those Spam mails, which remind me of the fact that I have just won a million dollars because my email was selected. I would better do some useful things, find the real ways to earn some money on the Internet."
Suddenly a knock on a door, it is Bob's mother.
"Bob are you in there, what happened to you, you haven't been out for two days. Please open the door.” mother says.
"Mum, I am OK, just leave me do some things on the Internet, I will be out soon." Bob says.
"Everyday is the same. You should know that too much working on a computer is bad for your health. Alright, see you then." mother says.
"Not again", Bob thinks. "At least she didn't start the same old story about getting married, getting a real job. I hate listening to that story over and over again." Bob was an only child; his father has passed away some years ago. He is still living with his mother, he doesn't have a lot of friends, and girlfriend, well that thing didn't work well, they broke up some last month. Now the only thing Bob wants to find is some new income, maybe move to a new place, start a new life. He has heard a lot of things about the people earning a lot of money on the net, but he is aware of the fact that most of these stories are fakes; it is just a trick from some fraud masters. Bob starts to surf his favourite web sites. Nothing new, just some old stories, some people trying to promote their business, putting ads everywhere. Suddenly some new ads drew his attention. Is it some kind of a "Work from home" web site? It is one of the million sites, promising you good earning with just a little work. This ad was different.
"Creative people wanted, new virtual world, share your experience. We don't want your money. No fees, no credit card needed, everyone can join. Create the virtual world with us. Join us now."
Bob starts to think: "I know all of those sites are the same, they just want your email, so that they can send you their promotions and commercials. But no problem, I want to see what they say."
Bob clicks the link. He starts reading the information on the web page.
"The new experience. Virtual world as you have never seen before. Create your world based on your experience; the best creations will be awarded. No programming skills wanted. Just try our program. The best virtual world creations will be rewarded. Don't hesitate, just try our virtual guide, it can help you on every step."
"This looks interesting.” Bob thinks,” I am going to try this, it doesn't cost me anything, and it can be fun."
Bob takes the guidance of a virtual program. He uses his imagination to create a new world. Bob is a big science fiction fan; he just wants to create some odd place, somewhere far away from this planet. He is just wants to taste something different. He picks some story about a guy on a different planet sometime in a future, some kind of a human colony with a hostile environment. This kind of story gave him a freedom to choose his guidelines, use his imagination. It is just a life under a protecting dome with its own biosphere. It is a small world, you cannot leave the dome, or you will certainly die if you try to leave the dome. This looks easy according to Bob, I don't need to create the outside world on this planet, it is just a world limited to this artificial biosphere. Bob starts to feel tired, he wants to rest, take a snack or something. He logs out of the virtual program.
"Well done", the virtual program announces, "You have just been awarded 50 dollars for your work, keep up the good work, come latter to continue to build this story."
As he sees this notification, Bob is amazed and very happy. It never happened before. All these clicks and worthless surveys and emails didn't made him only few cents, almost nothing. But this is something amazing, Bob can actually see the money was already deposited on his account, they can send him a check any time, no catch. Looks to good to be true. Why would anybody want to give him this money for such a little work? Bob grabs some snacks and continues to work on this virtual program. Starts to create the places and characters in this virtual world. He sees that his world is becoming popular, many people check in to see it. Now it is still the beginning. I need to work for a couple days more, use my efforts. Bob continues to work like this for the next three days, with a little rest. He goes deeper and deeper into the story and his main character. He named him Tom. Tom is some kind of a scientist, keeping the biosphere life sustaining program working properly. Looks like a boring life. But is it really like that. There is a knock on a door.
”Bob, you have got some check received, what is it, is it the paycheck from your last salary. Have they decided to pay you after a long time." mother says.
"Mind your own business." Bob says,” Give me that check."
Bob opens the door; he takes the check and goes back into his room.
"You should pay some electricity bills, go to the supermarket buy some supplies, now you have the money.” mother says.
"OK, just leave me alone for now.” Bob says.
Bob looks at the check. The check looks real, not a fake, and what about the money. "I can't believe it, 1500 dollars!!! What is this, just for working for 4 days? This can't be, I must be dreaming", Bob is amazed. Bob continues to work, more and more. He doesn't want to sleep, working from day to day on this story. The rules are simple, the more people like your virtual world, the more money you can earn. And what about the Bob's world? It is becoming more and more popular by web site visitors.
The story of Tom the scientist on a hostile planet is becoming more and more interesting. New stories inside his story appear. He got involved into a secret plan from galactic government. They want to abandon this colony, is seems it doesn't generate enough money. They want to raze the place because there is no profit just loss.
"Wait, it can not be." Bob states in a fear.” I didn't write this story.” Who is the guy that wants to destroy my work?”
It looks like the virtual program has some kind of an inside program that creates suspense and thrill to every virtual world. And the fact is that the virtual world cannot exist for a long time. Bob starts to deal with the situation; he creates new characters, new building inside the biosphere. This is his precious creation; he can never allow anybody to destroy it. Now the new problem arises, how can he make this place profitable, keep it alive. Now let's go back to Tom, Bob's virtual hero. Tom can never give up; he is finding some new solutions, reducing the costs that machines are making every day. The efforts look useless, but then Tom gets an idea. He wants to explore the outside world, the hostile planet. He wants to find a solution to this problem. Maybe outside there are some interesting things, which can make this colony profitable. Tom designs a special suit, a suit that can withstand the radiation and the high temperature. He goes on a mission. Nobody knows where is he going. He is brave, but he should be reasonable just stay inside the dome. Tom left the dome through a secret exit. He goes outside, but what is outside, it is not the world that Bob created, nothing but fiery lava and exploding volcanoes. Tom has no chance and he dies.
"No, this is the disaster, my main character has died, there is no way I can save the colony now.” Bob cries.
What about the Bob's world? It didn't last long. Without Tom to control the life sustaining equipment, the only thing they can do is to evacuate the colony. No more Bob's virtual world. No more earnings for Bob. How sad, maybe now he can go outside and find some real job. What happened to this strange web site? Well, it seems they have relocated it, Bob cannot find the web address any more. It is time to go out in a real world, Bob. Face the facts and don't just sit in your room by your computer. There is some career out there; at least the people say so. But not for Bob, he is a dreamer. He likes the virtual world; the real world looks boring according to him.
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