While at college, around 1999 to 2002, I spent a lot of time discovering this new thing called the Internet. My interests took me in the wrong direction by my standards today; instead of buying domains, creating websites and marking my legacy in the early World Wide Web I was mainly interested in games.
One of the games our entire class got into was Cash Wars (CashWars.com – no longer active). It was a map based browser game in which you had a set number of moves in a day. You spent your moves moving from one square to another – you had no actual map so the moves were supposedly random – and you could increase your moves by clicking on sponsor adverts. When you reached another users base, you could attack them and steal their money. In turn, others attacked you and stole your money.
This was the basis of the game as I remember it. If you had enough money at the end of a time period (a month I think), you could cash out and receive an actual cheque.
The game was easily exploitable. Working together you could build up maps of the world and mark it with the bases of those users that had a lot of money. Automated programs would perform your moves for you based on these maps. A referral system meant that a small percentage of any money earned by someone you referred would be passed on to you; consequently people had multiple accounts.
Many websites sprung up about Cash Wars, including my own, and eventually I reached enough earnings to cash out a cheque.
Despite it being just over $21 I was delighted at the achievement and was the only person I knew to actually get money from the Internet. Friends and family didn’t believe me – this was 2001 and the concept of earning money from the internet like this was very new.
Anyway I didn’t even pay the cheque in – I would have received a tiny fraction of it due to me being in the UK and my bank charging a lot for foreign currency cheques.
Soon after the website shut down. Due to it being easily exploitable they ran out of money and had to cease trading. It was a shame as I just enjoyed playing the game, but I soon turned my attentions to other things.
That first experience of earning money on the internet set me on the path that led me to where I am today. I often think of this when I need a bit of motivation to push myself to the next level.
Check out http://www.wealthwars.com/ if you are looking for an example of how Cash Wars worked
What was your first online earnings?
Did you play Cash Wars? What were your first Internet adventures?