Hi, I’m new around here, spent maybe 10-20 in-game hours. Mostly reading. Everything i’m reading from wiki to D&D makes me think I’m exactly in the right place.
So I’m working up the courage to make my first proposal for MetaGame.
I want to suggest a game mechanic and boosts friendship between players through the exchange of wisdom (i.e. if you don’t make friends, at least you’ll learn something interesting).
There is a proposal below for a simple zero-cost implementation of this.
But implementation is secondary. I’m not married to any of the specifics. I’m much more interested in knowing what you think about this subject in general.
How are friendship integrated in MetaGame and how can they can be fostered?
Boosting friendship IRL is a bit of a hobby of mine.
In a MetaGame context, this means something like: incentivize the creation and strengthening of bonds of friendship between players.
In practice: get to know other people beyond pull requests / discord / discourse.
Have some fun. Grow your ‘wisdom’ stat in the process.
The chances of friendships blossoming from Discord chatrooms is non-zero, but I wouldn’t say it’s high.
It takes a lot of time and dedication and a pinch of luck (like most things in life) for two people to really make a connection.
What if we tweaked the rules of the universe to boost the probability of friendships blossoming by a hundredfold?
Friendship should be a force that equalizes, not one that creates disparity.
Players should get chances to connect regardless of their XP/Reputation/stats/skills/…
In fact, a good system works as a stirrer, making sure veterans and newbies from different areas of the game have chances to bump into each-other.
The result of this stirring is a more strongly connected MetaFam social graph.
Because a strong social graph has a better chance of weathering storms and surviving earthquakes.
It also has more critical mass that can attract more people while keeping the quality high.
Let me be clear: friendship should be optional. This is not a mandatory “collect 5 friend pins” kinda thing. Someone that plays the game anonymously should not be penalized for not spending time accruing friendships.
Scoring points or making money should not be the driver for seeking friendships.
Making friends and/or seeking wisdom should itself be the incentive.
Any proposal for a “friendship booster” should keep in mind a couple of thing:
- Safety of players: people make their own decisions, but the system should punish attempts to bypass any established boundaries (it follows that being explicit about boundaries is a required ingredient).
- Worst case scenario: let’s say we design a boosting system works amazing for lawful good players. But what will the chaotic evil do with it? How can it be exploited or corrupted by the baddies?
(I’m not gonna go down that rabbit hole right now, but these are things I do keep in mind)
Mindmeld (working title I don’t particularly like) is my modest proposal of a friendship boosting system that we could create in MetaGame.
A POC could be done with a simple thread on Discourse or a GitHub repo at almost zero cost.
Below I describe something fancier just for fun.
Mindmeld It is based on short, focused conversations between 2 players on a subject agreed in advance.
This below just an example of how it may work (again, not married to any of the specific details):
- The player that wants to play talks to The Hand (an NPC / bot). The hand asks a few questions about subjects/topic that the player enjoys talking/thinking about.
“I love mind-expanding and wisdom-seeking podcasts. I would like to share my top 3 favorite recommendations for podcasts in this category, and hear about your top 3”.
The Hand posts this notice the Mindmelt channel on behalf of the player. The posting is anonymous (unless the player decides otherwise).
- The conversation posting should include some more details. Having clear expectations on both sides is key to having a good conversation.
Other players browse Mindmeld notice board, if something catches their eyes, they can ask The Hand to put them in touch with the post author.
The two player have a brief (asynchronous, anonymous) chat mediated by The Hand. Clarify details / expectations, set a time.
Finally, if both player agreed, the conversation happens.
What kind of “conversations” am i talking about? A few examples:
- Exchange of recommendations – I’ll show you my top N (books|shows|tutorials|frameworks|subreddits|…) you show me yours
- Exchange of point of views – Talk to someone that (lives far away | grew up in a different environment | is of different age | had different career). Get a glimpse of the world through the eyes of a stranger.
- Debate – Seek someone with beliefs / values / opinions different than yours for the purpose of (politely) challenging each-other’s point of views. Pop your bubble.
- Collab – “Study” together, as in: read whitepapers or chapters of a book, then discuss them.
- Tutoring/Help (offer or request) – Offer to share your experience/knowledge on a specific subject, or put out a request for help/input on something you are struggling with or would like to know more about.
Some concrete examples (made up on the spot):
“I was born mid-80s in Europe and currently live in the US. I would like to talk with someone that was born in a different continent around the same time, and talk about some of our defining childhood experiences” (videocall, 30 minutes, no personal information, no questions about current living situation).
“Let’s exchange our top 10 favorite subreddits. No rules, anything goes, randomness welcome. 10 recommendations and the reason we like them” (videocall or chat, 20 minutes)
“Nakamoto Consensus protocol question. My interest in Bicoin is mostly academic. I’ve read the papers, watched some lectures that go into detail, and googled, but there’s still one detail that eludes me. Would you help me figure out the answer?” (10-20 minutes, videochat and i’ll provide a whiteboard link).
“UBI – I have mixed feeling about the idea of Universal Basic Income. If this is a subject that occupies your mind too, would you like to talk about it? Bonus points if you are either 1) a strong proposer of UBI or 2) strongly against UBI” (45 minutes, videochat, let’s stay focused on the topic and talk about economies in general. References to politics and current events are off-limits).
There are literally a million conversations i would like to have, I am mostly proposing this system for my own selfish reasons (seeking wisdom, making friends).
But i hope others have similarly desires and can use take advantage of Mindmeld.
Ideas circulates, communities grow!
What do you think? I’m eager to know. Wether it’s good or bad.
Thank you for listening,