Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

This player played urgentevoke (alias Evoke) in the context of a college seminar. One of the task is to answer the following 8 questions in the tenth learning unit. These questions differ from the original questions.
1. What positive experience did you have with Evoke?
I 'm surprised to see how many different people are actual social innovators and what they've accomplished so far. Some do it without getting any money, others building serious businesses. Some devoting their entire life to this, others do it in addition to their profession.
All have one in common: They're improving our life and show anybody else that everyone can do it too.
That is the most important positive experience I've made while playing Evoke.

2. What negative experience did you have with Evoke
I dislike the lack of proper communication. It is, in my opinion, a major design flaw. I don't see how the mechanics of Evoke help discussions and cooperation arise. There are hundreds of comments and blog posts, but there is now real benefit in reading them despite the value in itself. To appreciate such posts, a player has to be able to find them. I've almost never read another posts, because there is no function (or at least I've never seen one) to find good ones. I can find good player through the leaderclouds, but even good players tend to have many uninteresting posts. Not to mention, that a player who just did every task, has as many points as (or even more) someone with few but excellent posts.
Ergo, Evoke didn't help very much in leading interested players to the high quality posts and players.
But even worse, because there is no real benefit in joining or following an discussion in addition to the lack of a proper interface for it, this essential part of every social platform is almost entirely lacking. Honestly, why should I bother writing posts to contribute to a topic, if I can use this time to write a posts which is in any case rewarded by x points?
In conclusion, Evoke was some kind of a singleplayer experience - quite the opposite of what I've expected.
Some additional minor negative experiences:
Why do I have to tag my posts (learnX, actX, ...)? It took me some time to notice that I have to do this. It is unusual and I can't see why the player should be bothered with it.
The distinction between comment and blog post isn't clear. As above, it took me some time to notice that and figure out how to do it right.
I dislike the amount of reading material. I prefer short, structured and concise units of information. If infotainment is needed, I rather like videos or audio files. In general, there is a lack of diversified media usage.

3. What should be improved on Evoke to increase the motivation?
In the context of the previous described negative experience, I would start to redesign the interface. I like ordinary forums, where hot debates stay on the top, high quality posts are rewarded by the reader trough points or appreciating comments and everything has familiar and accessible design. Additionally, most information are mentioned one time and on thread is increasing its information value while developing.
Of course Evoke needs another design because it asks thousands of people to contribute to the same topic with similar information provided to each player. But why do I have to start an entirely new post? Why isn't there any function to contribute with my posts to an evolving tree of related posts? Why can't it be an direct answer to another posts?
I imagine a posting system, where I can see the most viewed and best ranked posts and discussion-trees and be able to link my work to them. The reward system should also be redesigned. You can get far too many points for single posts of low quality. I would prefer a system, where, depending on the difficulty of the task, is a multiplier for any received point of another player. For example: Easy tasks get one point for one received rating, difficult tasks get five points for one received rating. In addition, the multiplier should decrease with the increase of received points, in order to keep the motivation of contribution in different tasks.
This system would probably increase the motivation to write posts of high quality in addition to the improvement and fostering of the relationships between the community.

4. What should be improved on Evoke to increase the information brokering?
Because my motivation is based on a better information brokering system / discussion system, I've answered this question in the question above (3).

5. What should be improved on Evoke to facilitate the solution on a task?
Simplify the contribution system. Remove the "tagging". Provide diversified media for different styles of learning. At the current moment, Evoke is based on reading material and lacks audio and video files.

6. Was there an event while playing evoke, that especially remained in your memory? Please describe that event!
One of the first task was to find a social innovator. You were given a lists with hundreds of successful entrepreneurs to start your search. I was impressed and moved. I already know that many people have the urge to help others, but to see that our society provides the framework for supporting entire (worthwhile) existences in that area was new and made me think of contribute myself to this way of life.

7. Which game mechanics (Points, Blogs, Leadercloud, Comics, Stories, Powers, Achievements, Levels (Quests and Missions), receive Feedback, Profile, awarding Powers, giving Feedback) did you perceived positively?
Because I was instructed that points and achievements would influence my grading, I was motivated to obtain them. Without this instruction, the only motivation would have been feedback by other players.
I only had one real feedback from another player (in the form of an actual posts, not just receiving points) and very much appreciated that.

8. Which game mechanics (Points, Blogs, Leadercloud, Comics, Stories, Powers, Achievements, Levels (Quests and Missions), receive Feedback, Profile, awarding Powers, giving Feedback) did you perceived negatively?
I can't say that I perceive a mechanic itself negatively, but I dislike the way I was forced to engage in tasks because of points and achievements I'm not interested in. I would even go so far as to say that it pretty much destroyed my intrinsic motivation to engage in tasks and topics I'm really interested in. Women's rights for example. Or the creation of a darksite. I was not able to fully contribute myself to this tasks, because the safest way to get many points is to do just every task in the game. With this in mind, I couldn't see any reason to invest above-average work in a single task, even despite my original above-average interest in a topics.

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