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So, uh, yeah.

I was poking around the threads and there's this competition on the gaia forums called "Cross-Stitch."

Users pay a gold fee to enter a contest where they submit designs for Gaia to use as clothing an items. Unless I'm missing something huge here, it seems that the only prize in this arrangement is that the person's design winds up being used by Gaia, they get virtual gold, and a copy of the product they pay to submit.

Isn't this kind of, like, hugely messed up and one sided?

Basically, you pay THEM to let you work for them. You put in man hours. They then take these real man hours and art that you paid to give them in order to increase the real cash value of their site and make money for themselves? And then you get the 'privilege' of letting them make money off of work that you paid to do, and some automatically generated pixels and coins? And that's only if they choose the idea. You can also put in man hours and create artwork and get nothing.

If gaia hired people to do this work for them, they'd at least have to pay minimum wage. Even if the employee only worked for them for one hour, and only made $5 during the course of this hour, that's still as much as a gaia cash card, isn't it? And that's enough to buy a cash item. And don't cash items usually sell for way more than the $20,000 they're offering to potentially maybe perhaps compensate you for?

...Isn't this hilariously stupid or am I missing something?
Kupocake's avatar

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It's called Spec Work, and that's exactly what Gaia is doing. Gaia gets pretty much all the design ideas it could ever want, and it only has to reward a few people. Additionally, the reward isn't even real money. For Gaia, it's absolutely win-win.

Out in the real world, it's best to avoid spec work as much as possible. But online, if you're a young teen who has nothing better to do after school, why not.
Kupocake
It's called Spec Work, and that's exactly what Gaia is doing. Gaia gets pretty much all the design ideas it could ever want, and it only has to reward a few people. Additionally, the reward isn't even real money. For Gaia, it's absolutely win-win.

Out in the real world, it's best to avoid spec work as much as possible. But online, if you're a young teen who has nothing better to do after school, why not.


Fair enough, but I kind of wonder if young teens who enter are the ones most likely to submit entries capable of being awarded anything. No offense to anyone, but it seems like most of the more skilled and/or popular artists there are in their late teens or early 20s.

It's not like I've taken a census of who is hanging out there, but this is what I've gathered from looking at the stats of the artists I've seen. xp
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Kupocake
It's called Spec Work, and that's exactly what Gaia is doing. Gaia gets pretty much all the design ideas it could ever want, and it only has to reward a few people. Additionally, the reward isn't even real money. For Gaia, it's absolutely win-win.

Out in the real world, it's best to avoid spec work as much as possible. But online, if you're a young teen who has nothing better to do after school, why not.


Fair enough, but I kind of wonder if young teens who enter are the ones most likely to submit entries capable of being awarded anything. No offense to anyone, but it seems like most of the more skilled and/or popular artists there are in their late teens or early 20s.

It's not like I've taken a census of who is hanging out there, but this is what I've gathered from looking at the stats of the artists I've seen. xp
Nah I agree, generally the longer you've been practicing as an artist, the better you are, so naturally older artists tend to be better. But if they want to spend their own time entering a spec work competition, that's really up to them. Sometimes spec work can lead to good things (but usually not).
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I utterly agree that it's sort of taking from the community. But I'll say this. At least these aren't exclusive Gaia Cash items. To me I see it as " I'll draw this art work for a chance to actually be able to wear what I design, I'll get free gold if I win and I'll give back to the community. "

Point is there is so much crappy items on Gaia that if the community designs some of its own stuff even though it makes it easier on the staff it benefits everyone who doesn't have the gold to actually get the ridiculously priced crap they are selling.

The staff focuses more on EI's and getting real money.
We focus on making things for everyone else because we have the time to and don't MIND if they take it.

If it was exclusive cash only. I'd be pissed. Yes you can pay with cash too but at least everyone can actually buy the stuff their selling at Cross-Stitch. ^ ^
As the old saying goes, "there's two sides of a coin"

Maybe we need more time to further assess the situation if Gaia is being unscrupulous or not...
Uronoro's avatar

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User ImageIs it distasteful... yeah, in my opinion it is. But then, they're not twisting anyone's arms to do it. No one is really short-changed if they understand fully what is being exchanged and accept it. The only people at risk are those kids who really don't understand what is being traded for what, kids who may realize they provided a service for Gaia for a fake payment and maybe bragging rights who later feel cheated, which is different than someone who entirely understands the whole deal from the start and does it anyway for their own reasons... maybe they just really like supporting Gaia *shrugs*.

Gaia has this free site laid out for us that we can gather at... a lot of work was put into building it, perhaps they're allowed a distasteful means of getting voluntary new art ideas from time to time from those users who either ignorant of the worth of their artwork or those who are just generously loose with their art. The latter is a better situation than the former.
Annie Felis's avatar

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I don't like it just like I don't care for any corporate contests where they ask people to design something and gain every entry as intellectual material. It's a scam. However this isn't designing a new logo for a corporate giant, this is something Gaians have been asking for for years. It's still shady, but people are happy about having the chance to design for something they've been enjoying for years. It's like if Nintendo came to me and asked me to write/design a Metroid game, but I wouldn't get paid. I'd happily create something that would mash Other M into the ground to make it a non-canon AU story thing and not part of the whole Metroid continuity, even if I couldn't get paid for it. I would call it "Metroid: ******** You Sakamoto, Samus is Not Your Waifu". BUT ANYWAY...

I guess sometimes it's okay to work for free if that's what you really, really want to do. Just as long as you realize you ought to get paid for that kind of work normally.
i think most people like the idea of getting their work recognized and to see it being "bought" by thousands of other users is pretty amazing
NuMedia Millie's avatar

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I JUST WANT THEM TO MAKE SOME NICE SWEATERS. WHAT THE ******** IS THIS GAUDY ART DECO s**t? GET IT AWAY.
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I do think it's stupid, and in no way a competition you should enter if you want to be paid well or keep rights to a design you like more than just within Gaia,
But...

I want to enter it some time. Why? For fun, why else?

I recently stopped doing commissions because I decided that I can't stand drawing just for money, I'd rather do it because I want to, the money is a bonus (Yeah I still need to pay rent but commissions were never doing that for me anyway).
For me, Cross-Stitch is the same kind of thing. I'd be doing it because I have a design I want to share with the Gaia community, and how awesome would it be to meet and chat to Gaians, even a couple of years from now, wearing my stuff?

In short; as has already been said here, as long as you understand you're basically providing Gaia your designs for nothing, it's fine to enter just for the fun of it.

Actually there are a lot of competitions on TV that are like "Design a X" where you don't have to pay to enter but they still get to keep the millions of designs they receive, and only give prize money to one of them. It's not much different.
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Most of the people who submit designs don't have any intentions of becoming professional artists. This is a chance for them to do something fun that could get them a little recognition. Hell, even I wouldn't mind to have one of my designs become an outfit or something here on Gaia. I think it'd be pretty damn cool even if I wasn't paid.
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I agree, but at least they are not scamming people out of real money. There are many companies that get students to do professional work for free because "it will look good in your portfolio". Yea, it will, but it won't pay the bills. Kind of like what's going on here.

I don't support people who take advantage of artists or people for free, but it's not like they are forcing people to do it especially when the people wanted the opportunity in the first place (for Gaia). I also think they get credited, which is better than nothing. There is another company out there whom I can;t remember the name of for the life of me right now. Anyways, they came to our school telling students to drop by for free pizza and pop in exchange for character designs and ideas. Our teachers gathered all of us up in a lecture and explained that once you enter that room they own every word that comes out of your mouth and every doodle you draw on a napkin in or around that room and you will not get credited. You could say later "oh hey, that's my character design", but it's not yours. It's under someone else's name and that someone else got paid to "Design" that character.

For Gaia, hey if people want to have fun and just spend an hour or two doing something for the heck of it, let them. They're paying with free gaia gold for free gaia gold so who's to stop them. But as Annie Fells said "Just as long as you realize you ought to get paid for that kind of work normally". I agree. As long as these artists know they can and should be getting paid to do this kind of work in the real world, then they should be fine.
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I live in PSL and I knew nothing about this. o_O; That guy sounds like such a greedy b*****d... =_="
I agree with you.

I also get confused because I think it's a forum for cross-stitching.

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