America's growing conservatism
Exposing Darkness

Reality is Broken: Crowdsourcing

Jane McGonigal holds out great hope for gamers (and gamer skills and gaming techniques) being used to solve real-world problems, and now, in part three of the book she begins to discuss some real world changing games.  The examples are quite interesting, including Investigate Your MP's Expenses which played a role in the 2009 British expense reimbursement scandal, wherein over 20,000 people participate in an on-line research game that The Guardian set up to go through all the expense reports and receipts and find the criminal activity.

The helpful ideas for church ministry come near the end of the chapter when she discusses what keeps people participating. 

Participation is its own reward, when the player is properly invested in his or her progress, in exploring the world fully, and in the community's success.

Now, just make sure that your ministry and program offerings, your governance structure, opportunities for fellowship and service all allow for that sort of investment.

She goes on:

In other words, participants should be able to explore and impact a "world," or shared social space that features both content and interactive opportunities.  They should be able to create and develop a unique identity within that world.  They should see the bigger picture when it comes to doing work in the world--both an opportunity to escalate challenge and to continue working over time toward bigger results.  The game must be carefully designed so that the only way to be rewarded is to participate in good faith, because in any game players will do anything they get the most rewarded for doing.  And the emphasis must be on making the content and experience intrinsically rewarding, rather than on providing compensation for doing something that would otherwise feel boring, trivial, or pointless.


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