Robots might be coming for our jobs but they haven’t quite got them yet – but why wait to allegedly treat your employees like robots when you allegedly can do that now allegedly? The Amazon Race is a game developed by the ABC News Story Lab which sets out to make you understand exactly what it’s like working at an Amazon distribution warehouse and the picture it paints isn’t that pretty.
This quick little game is informed by the reporting of journalist Margaret Burin who spoke with eight workers who are or were employed at Melbourne’s Amazon Australia warehouse. The game uses the information provided by these workers and, though the controls and graphics are relatively simple, the method by which it communicates the worker’s claims are engaging and emotive.
The Amazon Race does a good job of making you feel conflicted about the choices you’re making – to hit targets or to have a social interaction with a co-worker? To ignore safety regulations and pack your trolley high to meet targets or miss out on shifts due to your pick rate dropping too low? The unreasonable and unforgiving button mashing of the picking process does well to convey the frustrations of the workers interviewed.
I realise I usually fill these articles with snark but this really doesn’t deserve any – it’s an innovative way for the news to convey information to a society unwilling to read beyond a headline before then leaving a comment for some reason – go outside, Steve!
I like this a lot and shout-out to reporter Margaret Burin, designer Ben Spraggon, illustrator and developer Nathan Hoad and editor Matt Liddy for their hard work. In the ‘About’ section they also acknowledge the Financial Times’ ‘The Uber Game’ interactive story which is also worth checking out.
Should probably also note that Amazon have come out against the reporting, saying to Mashable that the ABC was “intentionally sensational in its reporting and is demeaning to the hard working dedicated people who work at Amazon fulfilment centres and do a great job.”