Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

The EVOKE final stretch and the fallacy of points farming.

So, 10 days left to change the world.

And 10 days where I feel like I have to force myself to see this through to the end.

The reality is I have been loosing my will to EVOKE. The reasons are many: Agent feuds, bans, administrative abuse, content censorship, people trying to force their own vision unto your evocations, points farming, Jane's reluctance to be a part of her own game, the increasing focus on EVOKE 'top dogs', etc. etc.

It just feels to me like EVOKE has lost much of what it originally attracted me to it. It appears to now be more about who will win and what agents are best, rather than what projects and ideas people are offering. It is all about who's got the most points rather than who is contributing the most.

And make no mistake, Power Points are not really an indication of somebody's contribution or the quality of their ideas. They are merely a reflection of how many mass mails they send vs. the length of their friends list. As for me, I have not sent a single mass mail, and I don't intend to. You may think I am a poor gamer or that I am not playing to win, but I chose to do so out of a moral stand of fairness to other players.

Furthermore, nowhere in EVOKE does it say Power Points are the way to "win" any of the awards. In fact, the related article indicates quite clearly that the criteria will be based on the EVOKATION itself and that players who have completed all runes will be given first priority. First priority: that means you don't even need to complete all the goals to "win".

This was supposed to be about social innovation, not what agents come out on top, who's giving nasty looks at who or who got banned for what. This was supposed about developing new ideas and paradigms, not censorship vs. who has the loudest voice. This was supposed to be a forum of expression and innovation for everyone, not a mere focus on the top players.

Yes, I know I am on the leader board. Yes, I know I have been featured a few times and Hero of the Week twice. Yes, I know I am one of the "top players", and that may make some think this rant comes from a high horse or a pedestal of sorts, but it does not. It comes from the frustration of seeing what once was a fertile ground to exchange ideas into a mad rat race for the top as May 12th draws closer. It comes from people half heartedly completing runes and then mass mailing their work to farm for achieved goals and power points instead of trying to actually complete the goal itself. The closer we get to the finish line, the more it becomes about "winning" than it is about EVOKING. It is increasingly about who has the most points than it is about ideas.

In the last couple weeks, I have read more about who's on the top ranks, conspiracy theories about the World Bank, censorship, bans, personal attacks between agents and general eDrama than I have about new ideas and EVOKATIONS.

All the grievances I mention on this post are not getting anyone on the verge of an "epic win", they are just drawing EVOKE closer and closer to an epic FAIL.

And to be honest, at this point I just don't care anymore. I am forcing myself to complete the runes with actual thoughts and ideas just because a part of me has to see this thing through to the end and because from the beginning I decided to challenge myself to do so, but EVOKE has lost it's spark for me.

Personally, I'd rather see all the prizes go to charity instead of exclusively to the "top players". Specially if, in the end, points do prove to be the main criteria.

And to show I'm serious about this issue, I have decided to stop voting my own content.

Nobody has to be a "top player" to post an idea worth noting or to "win" anything, and it should not be that way. Nobody should have a large friends list as a requirement to be a top player. Nobody should be pestered about changing his ideas to fit someone else's vision. No agent should antagonize and insult another just for the sake of being argumentative. No content should be censored under bogus pretenses that reek of a personal vendetta. No GM should refuse to participate in their own game. No agent should ever offer half assed content simply to light a rune. No content should be spammed just to farm points.

And above all, no agent should be driven by what they can win as opposed to what they have to offer. The moment that becomes a goal, EVOKE in turn becomes an EPIC FAIL.

Views: 26

Comment by Samiran Roy on May 3, 2010 at 11:47pm
Julio, I lost my spark long ago.
But for different reasons
Have you read my rant?
Evoke wont be all about point farming
In the evokation clinic Jane said they are going to go through each and every post and only the ones with effort will be selected.
Comment by Samiran Roy on May 3, 2010 at 11:48pm
Comment by Turil Cronburg on May 3, 2010 at 11:49pm
For the record I think that the goal is for the funding to go to charities, the charities that have emerged from this game. Don't you think that there are at least a few evokations that are worth of being funded here as non-profit projects?
Comment by Samiran Roy on May 3, 2010 at 11:53pm
At what cost?
Comment by Julio Cesar Corona Ortega on May 3, 2010 at 11:55pm
@Turil: I have seen a couple. That would fit the non-profit model specifically? Off the top of my head I can think of Koshy's, Ursula's and Patricio's EVOKATIONS.

I don't believe any of that will actually happen through EVOKE, however.

@Samiran: Yes indeed, I read it some time ago and I believe I gave you +1 courage for it.
Comment by Samiran Roy on May 4, 2010 at 12:07am
The Ursula one can happen I think
Comment by Turil Cronburg on May 4, 2010 at 12:14am
I think that those people's projects (especially Koshy's indigenous doc**entation evokation) can be helped by some funding and mentorship, and general support and promotion. And I think there will be at least a few more that will be popping up as people finish up their ideas and get them ready for public viewing during the last week when they are due.

Plus, I definitely believe that funding/support by the Evoke organizers will honestly make a difference in my own evokation project, even though I'm planning on doing it anyway, even if I don't get any awards for it, because I believe it's something that the world can really use and no one else is doing it, as far as I know.

But for me, this game has indeed been about most of what you seem to have wanted it to be. I've learned so much, been inspired to do much more than I ever would have on my own, and gained many friends who I want to work with on other projects and communities. And I've had several astounding Epic Wins so far, where I discovered something I never before imagined possible. I really wish I could share my own appreciation for all the great things I've found here with you. But I understand that you've obviously had a very different experience than I have, and I just hope that something changes for you in the next week or two, so that you can get more of what you came here to get.
Comment by Sarah O.Connor Panamericana on May 4, 2010 at 12:15am
In fact the admins made it very clear that its not about the points, or any other measurable factor, the agents that win the prizes are going to be what they choose with the WBI educational people, so you can all expect the most conformist, politically correct agents of their preference to win, I predict that nobody with a really socially innovative solution
will win anything.
Comment by Michele Baron on May 4, 2010 at 12:19am
thank you Senor Julio Cesar Corona Ortega del evoke... meaningful content is much appreciated. Perhaps some evokations are going to be submitted later (May 12th date, yes?); perhaps agents/players reading your blog and others' will, having begun a journey to learn social innovation and entrepreneurship, weigh again more heavily on the side of social innovation. Thank you for your post. Good evoking.
Comment by Nathaniel Fruchter on May 4, 2010 at 12:24am
EVOKE, at the end of it all, will be what you make of it. Choose to hate the World Bank (even though the WBI is really rather unrelated to the politically active World Bank)? Your experience, even if net positive, will probably be ruined by your bias. Focus on the internet drama and ignore all the other positives around it? You'll probably leave with a sour taste in your mouth. However, if you focus on the good bits, try and make the best of the bad ones, and just take a moment to think about everything you've learned, you'll probably come out with far more than you think. We've only got a few days left—decide what your final path will be. :)


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