We’ve all had “empty” time, either at the office or at home, which we waste away by either surfing or playing that fave of receptionists everywhere, solitaire. But what if all that time and effort could be put to something that actually had some benefit, both to you and to others?
Freerice.com is a simple game with a bold goal. The game shoots you an endless string of multiple choice questions, and for every correct answer, the website donates 10 grains of rice to charity. No money leaves your hands, and no credit card info is collected. Instead, Freerice.com is owned and supported by the United Nations World Food Programme, so you know they’re legit. To date, Freerice.com has donated over 96 billion grains of rice.
The game itself is pretty engaging also. It’s played more for self-improvement than for fun (though there is fun to be had), and the question subjects reflect this pretty well. You’ve got languages (Italian, English, Spanish, etc), the sciences (Chemistry, Anatomy), and even SAT questions thrown in. Every question has a difficulty level, and you can only get to the higher difficulties by getting an unbroken string of correct answers. One wrong answer, and you’re sent back to the start (don’t worry, the rice you’ve won still gets donated). But that’s the only penalty you get. Play it enough, and you’ll be able to learn and memorize the answers through trial and error and consistently get higher scores.
I started playing this game years ago, and I’m pleased to see that they added a social media element to it and added friend listings, groups, and leaderboards. If you don’t want all that jazz, you can just go ahead and play without signing up. Your clicks still count for the same amount of rice.
If you’re looking to do some extra curricular studying while playing games and ending world hunger, then I think Freerice.com is a pretty damn good place to do it.
Did I mention that it’s their fifth birthday today?