Resently I was very keen on one of these and I spent a few months playing it. For those of you, who are familiar with the browser games, this won't be very strange. However, I would like to know is it possible for the human race and the society to gain something from this activity. I think a lot of people play some kind of a browser game and I feel that it will be a huge waste of energy if there cannot be a research or something else, which can make certain value in the real life.
I have some ideas, which may give sime clue. For example:
1. A war game - the governments may see how people react in different situations, taking difficult decision and how they manage to evade a crisis or take advantage. I am sure the governments have their own method to collect data for their goals, but may be a connection like this with (at least) a part of the general public would make some progress to a better democracy.
2. A game from websites, which may purpose is to connect friends - I am not sure how exactly these sites gain from the player, but I am sure that if some elements are added, there will be some useful data for the bussiness, society and sciences like psychology.
The reason I have spent so much time playing one of these browser games is because I thought I could make some assumption, based on my playing. The sad true is that I did. I do not think I will gain some real profit in life as a result of my experince in the game, but I made some study of the human character. Honestly, I am dissatisfied with the overall results and I wish there could be a way for people not only to waste time playing, but to learn somethink usefull.