A new online game has been released to give us a sneak peek into the daily life of a typical Uber driver. The Uber Game has been published by the Financial Times to accompany an article they wrote titled "Uber: The uncomfortable view from the driving seat".
Although the game is based on an Uber driver in Sacramento and San Francisco in the United States of America, it is likely that Uber drivers in the different Afrikan countries will be able to relate to it.
What's interesting, and likely makes the game a bit more relatable and realistics is that the Financial Times say that the game is based on interviews they have conducted with Uber drivers as well as their coverage of the ride-hailing company. With that said, it explains why the game portrays how difficult it is to make ends meet as an Uber driver.
The difficulty of being an Uber driver and making a good income is likely to be echoed by drivers on the continent too as we've witnessed with recent protests in Kenya. It's not just the income that drivers have complained about but also deactivation on Uber's platform. This is demonstrated in the game when you choose not to buy a mobile phone mount and end up "fiddling" with your phone while driving resulting in a rider complaining resulting in deactivation, something that apparently happened to some Uber drivers in South Africa who ended up taking Uber South Africa to the country's Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).
Playing the game, however, I couldn't help but feel like being an Uber driver is like being in a rat race that you can never really win. Always chasing the next ride to make a few bucks to pay one's bills. If there's one thing we'd need to adapt to make it more realistic (and harder) for South Africa, Kenya, and other Afrikan markets, it is the addition of violence on Uber drivers by other non-Uber cab drivers.