Mar 082011

So I’m at my favorite bar and ask Erin, the bartender, “What would you like an achievement for?” I’ve been springing this question on random people since the project began. She answers without skipping a beat, “Random acts of kindness.”

Brilliant! an achievement one would give to someone else to recognize that unasked for something that made the day better. Not something I would get, but something I would give!

Liz said, “Yes, but…” because it is her job to be the pragmatist and to tell me that unicorns do not exist. How will you prevent 25 kids from gaming the system? What is the validity of such a system if they do? F I N E. I will make this work.

Here goes…

The hero’s journey narrative lends itself to the idea of leveling and this can be gauged with meaningful experience points. (XP) In fact, one cannot beat the game unless they graduate. This does not eliminate a subsequent alumni level, but that is so next week.

Parallel to this are badges and achievements that do not necessarily contribute to XP. These would be badges created by the players and reflect things they value.

When a player submits an achievement for acceptance, or when they submit the accomplishment of an achievement or badge, they will have to submit a story/proof of completion. The community will be able to “like” it. This unit of “like” is distinct from XP; what it indicates is street cred (CRED).

The value of CRED is that at some threshold beyond the noise, there is an indication of investment in the game. Those “like”s translate into others’ appreciation of their wit or way of doing the tasks. I say translate that CRED into a superuser (but with a sexier name).

Ultimately, the community should be self-moderating. It’s the superusers who should be the moderators.

There could be button or some way for someone to “call shenanigans”, and the superusers could sort it out. But I digress a little…

Maybe another benefit of cred is this, for x units of cred, you earn the ability to bestow a random act of kindness to someone else. So the cred is a currency used to take recognition you’ve received and reflect it on someone else. After seeing how quickly these units accrue, we can make the cost of giving that award a real sense of preciousness and honor.

What other tangible value could CRED have?

 Posted by at 10:35 am

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