creative technology serious/superpower game(s)

Reward Structures, a self experiment?

In course of our Qarma project we explore how we can motivate people using game mechanics. One mechanic with great potential are rewards. Rewards in games are a complex topic, but the general idea is that the player gets frequent and direct feedback to his action, giving a satisfying feeling.

This kind of feedback is lacking dramatically in real life. Often the work people do is rewarded only months later or not at all. This is why people are less motivated in real life than they are in games (to do stupid / repetitive tasks) and the main reason why people predict that a game/reward layer will be constructed on top of the world.

Last week we did a little brainstorm how these rewards could be employed. To sum it up, the result was that rewards could find place more in a group context than individually. Rewards therefore are not (only) assigned by an application that uses sensor data to find out whether you brushed your teeth three minutes or not, but also by fellow group members. This has the nice side-effect that when people are allowed (or supposed) to assess other peoples behaviour and can reward them accordingly, it actually means that people start caring about each other, bringing us on step closer to make the world a better place™ already.

This construct however requires some more refinement. Can you reward yourself? Can everybody reward any amount to anybody? What is the reward? Does it have any value or representation?

To get a better feeling for this idea I hereby officcialy want to motivate us to start a little self experiment.

Last week we choose to use hedons and dolor as units for rewards and punishments, inspired by the Felicific calculus. These relate to individual rewards. We also discussed rewarding/punishing actions that are positive to the whole group and named their unit collectons and anti-collections.

For now we document per hand here. Maybe a little web-app is in order later :).

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