Thursday, March 13, 2014

Another gamification brainwave

Pool resources to lightly monetise in-game points. Pecuniary homeopathy. A tincture of the Scotch groat in the Mario DING DING.

Khan Academy is teaching me to add, subtract and multiply. I am glad that they award me leaves, for all the usual reasons: quantifying accomplishments, setting goals, tracking my progress, etc. But I feel a mild sense of sorrow and embarrassment when Khan Academy awards me leaves on the basis of some prior wisdom, and I know I haven't learned anything new. I've just conned Khan out of some leaves, and instead of celebrating, I lament the discrepancy between my leaf levels and my numeracy. Khan leaves aren't a reliable store of value after all! I feel bitterly the meaninglessness of all Khan leaves.

So here's another scheme. A mechanism for gamified experiences which allows users to pledge money upfront, which gets slowly fed back to them in the form of in-game currency.

And you know what? I'm going to remove the rest of this post and transform it into a sort of sparse, near future, slightly Doctorowish story. It's going to have trees and things that aren't strictly relevant but will set the scene. And then I'm going to send it to magazines and things. So just you wait.

UPDATE. The magazines said "no." But the machines said "yes." Marta and the Demons, a novelette, http://mybook.to/MartaAndTheDemons.

While I'm at it, required gamification reading: Tim Maughan's "Zero Hours."

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