My word of the week is gameful. “Gameful means to have the spirit, or mindset, of a gamer: someone who is optimistic, curious, motivated, and always up for a tough challenge. It’s like the word “playful”—but gamier."(Jane McGonigal) It's also the name of a Secret Headquarters for worldchanging games. I've been among the early backdoor members checking out the loose boards before the public launch yesterday.
The Secret HQ has various social network features like profiles, groups, activity feeds, a messaging system, community blog, wiki, and classifieds to support collaboration. What may set it apart is the Game of Gameful. Its intentional about productive fun and is a case example of using games-based achievement and incentive systems to build a community. Starting with well-designed rewards for early backers (with titles like Mega Brain Meld, Hero’s 12-Pack, Awesome Circle, Secret Fiero Monster and Gameful Fairy), its Kickstarter page generated over 3000% of its ask. On the site, everyone gets a virtual pet, a Fiero monster. Participating in the Gameful community and completing challenges breaks Fiero monsters out of their shells and level up. A Mayor's Office helps newbies get started with challenges. Two secret missions are already at play (individual puzzle pieces sent to Kickstarter backers to reconnect in the real world). With the public launch comes the first official Challenge, enter a "Make Lord Kelvin Proud" game design contest with a $1000 reward (make a game to improve something good that can be measured). Of course (and potentially most interestingly), Fiero monsters are welcome to create and invite folks to play their own or group-sourced challenges too.
The meta challenge (how to harness an idealistic community's potential and tap into the 3 billion hours/week we spend playing digital games) is the main storyline I'll be following. ARGs like EVOKE were a start; let new games begin!