A video game may be a good way to relax, but it’s not always the best way to keep busy, according to the Australian Consumer Law Centre.
A video game is a “virtual workplace”, meaning it’s a place that lets you play the game, but you have to work to do so.
The law centre says virtual work places are now “often the most common form of non-traditional employment” in Australia, and that while they can help people “work less, and more efficiently, they also leave many Australians behind”.
The Consumer Law Center’s advice to players who are considering a virtual workplace: Do your homework, don’t just play.
“If you’re looking for a virtual job, you need to research, talk to people, talk with people who work in the industry, work at virtual workplaces, and get their perspective on what virtual work can offer,” the law centre’s executive director, Leigh McGlashan, told ABC News Breakfast.
“You’re going to find people who actually work in virtual work, and who are very passionate about it, and they’re passionate about getting people working in virtual jobs.”
The video game industry has been hit hard by the global recession and the collapse in consumer spending.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics says retail sales have fallen by 2.9 per cent since December last year, and a further 4 per cent in February.
Virtual jobs are a growing sector in Australia as well, with the number of people who use them increasing every year.
According to the National Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, the number and severity of workplace injuries has increased from 12,600 in 2015 to 17,800 in 2018, and the number who have died in the workplace has more than doubled since 2014.
It’s important to note that this is an industry that is growing and people are working in it.
Virtual work has been a key topic of discussion on the ABC’s Lateline, with presenter David Collins having a long-running chat about virtual work with his colleague, Laurie Dann, who was a virtual assistant at a gaming company.
Laurie was also an employee at one of the companies Dann worked for, which she said was a great experience.
“There were a lot of people working there who weren’t in virtual environments, but they were really passionate about working in a virtual environment and being part of a virtual team,” she said.
There’s an increasing number of workers in the virtual workplace, and some employers are trying to attract them.
The US is leading the world in virtual employment, with more than one million workers employed in virtual workplaces.
The UK has around 300,000 virtual workers and the US has over 500,000.
“I think virtual work is a great way to get people in the workforce, to make a living, to have a stable work environment,” Ms Dann said.
“The industry’s growing, it’s growing fast.
The numbers are going up, so it’s very, very exciting.”
Virtual workplaces can also have a detrimental effect on other people.
Ms Dann has seen a rise in people being physically assaulted in virtual workplace environments.
She said that in the past, virtual workplaces could be safer than real ones, but that has changed.
“[In a virtual work environment] it’s harder to be a victim of harassment, of violence, of bullying,” she told Lateline.
In the US, there has been an increase in the use of virtual environments by police officers.
One of the major concerns is that some virtual workplaces are being used to lure people into prostitution, which is illegal in the US.
“We have seen a significant increase in virtual abuse in the last few years,” the US Attorney General, Eric Holder, told the BBC in September.
He said that virtual work environments “could also be used to recruit individuals into sex trafficking or human trafficking.”
“This is a very real threat to women and girls, particularly in the developing world,” he said.