Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

EVOKE Politics : Points, Business, and General understanding

First off, I apologize if this doesn't make as much sense as it should- I'm a bit sick, on some whoozy medications and its 4:30 in the morning.

Now, that I'm past the preface, I want to briefly discuss points, leaderboard and this game in a pretty simple matter.

#1) The game ends with an EVOKATION. That takes work, effort and time. Point hoggers, hundreds of picture rankers, people doing other scamming I'll rank yours if you rank mine stuff cannot win the game even if they are thousands of points ahead. No evokation, no plan to change the world = no winning.

#2) Leaderboards: Yes, I'm high on the rank list, I will not lie. But- someone with few points can win. They can come up with a plan, post it and it be absolutely amazing. Just because one is quiet does not mean their intellect, vision and power is not great. The mouse can do great things in the presence of lions.

#3) My Inbox: I cannot read all my mail. I am 183 messages behind, adding a job, fulltime school, and actual game play-research and reading I am working hard just to keep up with those I am personally following. Everyone is important to me, I just simply am doing a bit random and a bit of EVOKING according to interest. Please forgive me. If there is something you absolutely positively want me to see: its probably better to leave a comment on my main page with a brief explanation of the topic and why. Much more likely to take a look.

#4) Value: People do rank more based on value. I see it from my posts, I see it in how I rank others. I do not rank everything, but I do take time to rank things that stand out as important, knowledgeable and generally awesome. Power and complements I do not take lightly.

Overall- breathe. Points and ranking and the politics of friendsharing, inbox, all of those things... it is a part of the structure but not a part of the final point.

If you are working with others, if you are planning a vision, if you are finding a vision to help, if you are dedicated to helping others, if you are providing resources and ideas to others- you can do well. You may be a mouse, or you may be a lion... but in the end, you will have won in your own way.

Making a difference is the point. Discovering, creating and making allies is the ultimate prize.

So relax, enjoy and do what you can do.

The secret is the power is there no matter what the numbers say. Everyone is innately powerful. All the important people know that.


Views: 101

Comment by Yemisi Ajumobi on March 19, 2010 at 10:27am
Beautifully written. Thanks for sharing these wise thoughts on the network
Comment by Raymond M. Kristiansen on March 19, 2010 at 10:47am
this truly deserves the feature.

well, the points, the leaderboard, all that, its part of the experience. i fully agree with you, regarding the Result being whats important, but actually, the "levelling up" is the "emotional hook" that will draw some people into this.

this (faux?) sense of achievement.
the question is how to make quests which seem as seamless to do as questing in an online game, while being something that has an effect on the world, directly or indirectly

again, great post.
Comment by Ida on March 19, 2010 at 7:30pm
Thanks for posting this, Crystal. I've actually been hoping that I fall off the leaderboard so that less people friend and subsequently spam me.

Are there any 'emotional hooks', as Raymond puts, it that will encourage engagement based on quality and collaboration? The point system is highly subjective, so quality as well as volume get the goods... Not a simple problem and something I imagine many game designers have worked on. My experience with MMOs is limited, but there have to be some precedents that are more fulfilling that what's happening here.
Comment by Crystal Bellar on March 19, 2010 at 7:50pm
Interestingly, I think the way it is done is highly effective. Even though the point system is subjective, I find that atleast my place on the board is pretty much the work I have done. The point system the first week or two was rather important, it gave me goals and thoughts as I established a social network to continue my projects. I don't think that without the point component I would have developed the social system I did- so essientially it drew into a facebook type of situation.

Which is really cool. You can argue the points system vs experince system vs. just a judging system. All of them have their points, all of them have their weeknesses. The combined tries to mitigate some of the point rigging that can happen -- this happens in the real world too. Stock-markets for example had to outlaw some of these tatics to keep artifical inflation from screwing witht he market. Not that it was wholly effective. There are just facts to how social interaction works- and no amount of structure is going to change that. Human nature is human nature. But- a structure can guide social interaction into a more positive direction which was Jane McGonicals wh*** point. How do you take a hodgepodge group of people and direct them towards positive goals, when people have a bunch of self interests? Her answer was brilliant, form an interactive contest, rank points, give rewards, and use a small time limit- add judges to mitigate social factors like ranking points, and make the final project a bit of a time investment. So, you can complete the game (gather all the runes) but not actually compete for the final prizes.

Its sheer sociology genius. Amazing stuff.
Comment by Linda Holt on March 19, 2010 at 8:33pm
Great post, Crystal (be sure and take a look at my new blogs - LOL)
I think we can use those authentic points to encourage newbies in the game. I do try to welcome a random number of people each day and invite them to check out my blogs, and the blogs of my friends to get a feel for what is happening so far. If someone comes into the game and learns from our knowlege shares - that is evoking power to me. (But then again, I am only sort of on the leader board. . .) I am proud to be your comrade, fellow Evokers!
Comment by Adam Sunman on March 19, 2010 at 8:38pm
too true !
Comment by Ida on March 19, 2010 at 8:42pm
One factor of the game that you haven't mentioned is the narrative. For me at least, that was the initial draw much more so that the point system.

At about the same time I started playing Urgent Evoke, I also started using www.750words.com. This platform for daily private writing awards points for completing the writing exercise along certain parameters. There, the points are validation of meeting minimum qualifications for participation. Any activity beyond that is not awarded points. Knowing clearly what points are awarded for is encouraging. Seeing other people's points motivates continued participation. On Urgent Evoke, at least in my experience, the points have discouraged me from participating and distracted me from the aspects of the game that I find most enjoyable and motivating.

As I play, I keep having flash backs to working for Indymedia. I haven't had as much focused contact with people I only know online who are also invested in social, economic, and environmental justice.

You called this a contest, Crystal. Maybe that's the difference. This is a contest, while the other examples I brought up are not.

McGonigal is producing amazing work to motivate ma**** of people to address social, economic and environmental problems in order to 'fix reality.' If I have mixed feelings about the details of the system here, they pale in comparison to the insight and enthusiasm I have gain by participating.
Comment by DDeath on March 19, 2010 at 8:47pm
So True :)
Comment by David Dewane on March 21, 2010 at 8:16am
Wonderful and insightful post. Thanks for taking the time to clearly articulate these points.
Comment by Claire Moylan on March 21, 2010 at 3:18pm
I don't know, I find myself LOSING interest in Evoke. Not sure why. Was it the point hogging? The spam? I don't think so. I still think I will visit and comment, but the idea that I HAVE TO get these missions done for a few points is out the window. I'm extremely disappointed in the narrative and I thought it seems that the creators of the game are willing to let us do all the work, while they just post some stupid comics that I don't get the point of at all. I thought there would be a storyline, some information, some novel ideas, but that's up to us. That's fine, but I can't drop everything I'm already doing to contribute to somebody's fantasy to save the world. I'm already doing my part, and if this a game that will attract people who have already been in the trenches for years, it has to offer more. Much of the information posted has been out there for years already and I'm glad other people are being made more aware of it. I think the community is useful this way, and for people who want to start making a difference. It's not so useful for those of us who have already heard this story over and over, complete with human frailties like limelight hogging, jealousy, bad habits that contribute to things, and the like. It could be my busy schedule. I still hope to network with some great people and contribute a little here and there, but I'm not taking it very seriously. It's a game and a game that is certainly highlighting some of the worst in human behavior, as well as the best. I just don't have time for too many games.

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