In recent years, controversial game creator Peter Molyneux offered players the chance to "be" a digital god in the disastrous Godus, for being the person to unlock the mystery of a giant cube in his social experiment Curiosity. As history records, that backfired massively for the beleaguered Molyneux, when the winner, Bryan Henderson, never received anything for his hours of patience in tapping repeatedly on a screen.
However, the history of real-world prizes in games dates back to the early-80s - some of which even gave their winners something tangible. Here are but ten examples.
The sundial was found some three years after the release of the game by Sue Cooper and Lizi Newman, who deciphered the cryptic clues to work out that the sundial would only be at its hiding place - the Hindover Hill chalk Horse - on July 22 (Pi is sometimes rounded to 22/7, apparently).
Croucher and Christian Penrose - the co-founder of Automata - returned to the spot on the same day every year, until such time as the two women were surprised by the sight of Penrose - dressed as the game's Piman character - leaping out at them from behind a boulder. You know: like a sex pest.
Commendably, this was all in spite of the fact Automata had since gone bankrupt over the commercial failure of ambitious multimedia project Deus Ex Machina the previous year.
Pimania itself was, true to Mel Croucher's punk spirit, a sort of anti-game starting with the words "You are cast into an arena of despair. A cage surrounds you”.
For the story and setting, Croucher took inspiration from Nathanael West’s 1931 surrealist novel, The Dream Life of Balso Snell, which takes place inside a Trojan horse. The story opens with the novel's hero climbing through the horse's anus. Which certainly saves me the effort of having to think up something similarly bizarre.
One of his less well-remembered endeavours was Eureka!, a time-hopping text adventure (chapters were set in prehistoric times, the Roman Empire, Arthurian Britain, Germany during World War 2, and the modern Caribbean). It boasted arcade-like mini games, and a major cash prize for the first person to complete the adventure.
The £25,000 reward was won by teenager Matthew Woodley, who later went on to work for the game's publisher, Domark.
I did play Eureka! as part of an "unofficial compilation" put together by a friend of mine - albeit not until long after Woodley had got his money. Frankly, I didn't know what the hell I was meant to be doing anyway.
Unfortunately, 60 people managed to solve the 3D maze game at roughly the same time - which meant Firebird was forced to stage a simultaneous play-off in London, Spain and Denmark.
The winner was 16-year-old Juan Manuel Perez Vazquez from Spain, who completed a brand new level in a mere 18 minutes. His nearest competitor took 1 hour and 37 minutes to finish, thus earning Vazquez the sobriquet "The Spanish Fly".
Nevertheless, Crash Magazine praised The Prize thusly: "Colour is well used throughout the game, especially in the solid areas behind the edging walls, and the graphics are large and move smoothly. Quite an addictive game."
The magazine concluded: "Fairly addictive, playable and with good incentive."
Could they sound any more excited?!
Earthworld's prizes were a diamond-encrusted talisman and a white gold miniature sword (the talisman was melted down by its winner Steven Bell to pay his tax bill), while Fireworld's gem-studded chalice was won by a Michael Riddout.
Fireworld and Waterworld offered a crown and the "Philosopher's Stone" respectively, but due to Atari's financial difficulties following the video game crash of 1983, the prizes were never awarded. Nor was the grand prize - a full-size sword studded with precious stones, scheduled to go to the ultimate winner of a play-off between all the champions to date.
The remaining prizes were left in possession of their creator The Franklin Mint, who reportedly recycled them into nipple clamps (other jewellery).
In the more innocent days of 1983, Mountains of Ket merely referred to a series of text adventure games, which included the sequels The Temple of Vran and The Final Mission. The first person to achieve 100% in all three games received "£400 worth of video recording equipment", and the scarcely official title "Britain's Best Adventurer".
Winner Tom Frost, from Montrose, later went on to form Tartan Software, which released games including The Gordello Incident, and the adventure compilation Tom Frost's Six-Pack.
Unfortunately, the game was crippled by a series of flaws which collectively became known as The Attic Bug. This effectively made it impossible to complete the game without cheating.
Ross Holman and Cameron Els were the first to finish Jet Set Willy with this method, and their code was released by Software Projects as a set of official fixes - one of the first ever software patches for a game.
Unfortunately, Hareraiser - released in two parts - was a commercial disaster; Sinclair User damned it as nothing more than "the sincere need to get rich", awarding it a paltry 3/10. Consequently, Haresoft dribbled into liquidation.
Inevitably, nobody ever completed the games' puzzles successfully, and Thompson's pendant was later sold at Sotheby's for £31,900 - £1,900 more than its estimated value.