Holy War on Kiva more fun than throwing virtual sheep

by Sebastian Benthall

Poking around web-enabled microlending organization Kiva‘s website, something that stuck out immediately was the “Lending Teams” feature, which prominently shows which teams have been most involved in micro-financing.

There is a holy war going on between Christians and Atheists to prove who are the better people. Atheists are winning.

Kiva president Premal Shah explains the phenomenon. Lending teams make Kiva fun, because (by implication) trash talking your ideological enemies is fun.

This is important, Shah notes, if Kiva is competing primarily for people’s attention. Since a lot of microloans are paid back, the cost of participation (for people with enough liquidity) is negligible. So what prevents people from doing more microlending is that they are too preoccupied throwing virtual sheep at each other, for example.

One hopes that no matter whether the Atheists or Christians are right, Farmville burns in the End Times.