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Good at mobile games? You could win a cow in Tunisia

Lulu Chang
Who says playing video games doesn't have any real world payoff? In Tunisia, the winners of a game called Bagra, which means "cow," received -- you guessed it -- a cow for their accomplishments. Live or butchered was the winners' decision.

Who says playing video games doesn’t have any real world payoff? In Tunisia, the winners of a game called Bagra, which means “cow,” received — you guessed it — a cow for their accomplishments. According to local media, the winning couple managed to outsmart all other competitors in keeping a virtual cow safe and alive, all while using strategy to steal from other players and their digital livestock.

The developers of the game, Digital Mania, had a few options on the table when it came to awarding the winners their prize — the victors could choose to claim the cow for themselves, or have it butchered and its meat distributed to help the needy. As it turns out, the winners elected to keep Pamela the cow for themselves, relieving the Digital Mania headquarters of its responsibility of caring for the bovine (it lived in the office for about two weeks).

While mobile games are rarely touted as benefiting society as a whole, Bagra is truly a pretty special app. Players were able to make in-game purchases that would help them advance their goals, and because all purchases were made in Tunisian dinar rather than U.S. dollars, players were indirectly helping the national economy, simply by caring for a virtual cow herd.

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And it wasn’t just the winning couple that left the gaming arena with prizes — others who finished near the top were awarded home phones and tablets, and there are plans to host another competition with a similar setup. And yes, in the upcoming tournament, first place will, once again, be a cow. This one’s name is Brigitte.

So sure, you may have your name at the top of a leaderboard for your own prowess at Tetris or MazeRunner, but somehow, that pales in comparison to being awarded a cow for your gaming abilities.