Folks, I barely made it through the first season. It has been a ton of hard work to play this game, and it has dragged me kicking and screaming from my comfort zone on more than one occasion. I've spent countless hours in research, reading other agents' evidence, doing quests and missions, creating my own personal transformation, combating spam and trying not to feed the trolls. It has definitely been fun
, but it's kind of a peculiar definition of fun. More at flow
, in the psychology of optimal experience sense. Big challenges, significant effort and focus required, satisfying wins along the way, but the aliens just keep coming every week, *pow*pow*pow*. Yeah, EVOKE invaders, something like that.
So what about next season? Well, bear with my stream of consciousness brainstorming.
* Keep it a game. That's an essential fiction that kept me "playing". Lie to me, sweet ludic lies.
* Give us better tools to play with, or else we'll have to make better ones ourselves. Ning was a mostly adequate but often pathetic platform for collaboration, especially at the scale of almost 20,000 players. Keeping up, finding people to work with, getting the gestalt of the game were really hard, like drinking the ocean through a straw. If we're going to become world-class social innovators and amplified humans, we're going to need far better. Next time, build tools like ushahidi, open street map, crisis commons, right into the game if possible.
* I loved the storyline and the comic book format. Really great way to tell just enough of the story, with room for lots of good clues and context.
* Kill the leaderboard. Long live the leader cloud. Emphasizing (and therefore incenting) player activity and emerging players was a stroke of brilliance. In a huge network like this, findability is a precious resource. Players want to be found, because the best success strategies are all about social capital.
* Badges, earned by demonstrating mastery of skills. I liked that about Superstruct, although I recognize it is potentially a burden on the gamerunners.
Hmm, I have more and will add to this when I can.