Where’s Waldo? It’s a question I’ve been pondering since childhood. So recently, I decided to revisit the problem.
But in these modern times—where, with just the push of a button, I can summon a personal driver; or have someone come clean my apartment; or even hire a ghost writer to blog for me—I was hardly going to undertake my Waldo search the old fashioned way. No, I would contract out my nostalgia.
To that end, I created a custom Fiverr gig that tasked people with finding Waldo. Workers would receive one page from Where’s Waldo: Deluxe Edition and would be required to locate Waldo on it for me. At a going rate of $5 per gig, I reasoned that I would be able to find Waldo once and for all for just $84 ($60 going to the workers with the remaining $24 naturally going to Fiverr). Somewhat expensive yes, but you are paying for convenience after all. And I fully expect the going rate to drop significantly once more Waldo gigging startups enter the market.
This project is also not my first brush with crowdsourcing. Hell I even beat Andrew Yang to the punch a few years back when I used mechanical turk to pay people for staying alive. While this project is a far more costly way of funding humans, it does at least ask for some meaningful work in return.
Of course, when undertaking any important task like this on the internet, you often cross paths with a chucklehead who doubtless thinks they can be quite clever.
However, the efforts of such individuals at what could only generously be called trolling seldom fall more than one or two notches above a dick on the Nilbog scale. For we all know that a truly artful troll, when faced with such as Waldo gig, would have deepfaked Waldo onto every character in the picture and returned that as the result. Hell, I would have even settled for a photo of them dressed as Waldo. My disappointment with the internet only intensifies with each passing day.
I accepted the first twelve serious offers that were submitted, sent off the photos, and then sat back to watch the Waldos coming roll in. The first Waldo was found within twenty minutes, and most workers found Waldo in under 24 hours. And only a quarter or so of the submissions required a revision!
A few workers even went above and beyond by warning me about tricky fake Waldos on their pages or finding all of Waldo’s friends too. Well played.
Yes, the great Waldo search was going great overall and it was really five stars all around! Well except for one particular Waldo searcher… The worker in this case seemed to be under the impression that Waldo was anyone in red and white stripes, which caused more than a few rounds of revision.
But look: you haven’t truly experienced postmodern capitalism until you’ve argued with some random dude that you just signed an internet contract with about what Waldo looks like and told him that you can’t give him the extra five dollars he’s asking for to find Waldo because for starters, you ain’t having his sob story about how he’s already tried to find Waldo for eight hours using algorithms because that’s clearly bullshit. Anyways he’s already getting five bucks from you, which frankly he should be more than happy with! What, does he expect you to provide health care now too? And besides, you could just as easily outsource your nostalgia to any one of like a billion other strangers around the world for a fraction of the cost!!!
However after much drama, the twelfth and final Waldo was successfully found for the original asking price.
Yes, all things considered, I’d say that finding Waldo today is pretty much exactly like I remember it being as a child. It’s far easier nowadays if anything.