Realizing a Positive Sum MetaGame 🌊


Creativity and collaboration,

an infinite floodgate opened,

all boats rise…

flooding the moats,

and toppling the towers.


Step 1: Find something to work on that will positively impact as many people in as many different projects as possible

Step 2: Get really excited

Step 3: Infect other people with excitement (see: Shilling School 🏫)

Step 4: Pool Excitement behind an Initiative or Quest

Step 5: Succeed and claim seeds (see MetaGame SEED Claiming Guide 🌾)


Q: Why is this its own thread?
A: i wrote a poem

Q: Try Again?
A: MetaFam stands on the shoulders of incredible all boats rise contributors that have built and are building around them and I want to call attention to that.

Q: So what?
A: Firstly, not every project that positively impacts the MetaGame will be explicitly participating, even as I have joined this community I come having built on decades of research that has itself have been built on that of countless others.

Q: I get it, but what do we do about it?
A: Well for starters this community does a pretty damn good job attributing credit to its forefathers in crypto, the likes of MolochDAO, and even its forefathers in framers of the US constitution who as it happens made the best adaptive dynamic governance system the information technology the late 18th century had to offer.

Q: Pre-history, history… get in the GAME. How does this help me level up!?
A: The greatest positive sum impact you can have is to impact as many unfathomable present and future projects as possible. Bring people into the game by building things others will build on; build on things other people build. Liberally credit contributions beyond the game, and the game itself will grow.

Q: I was supposed to get all that from the poem?
A: Yes

Q: Seriously?
A: Yes, and more :cryptic smile:

:rolls eyes:


post above is actually aimed at sparking discussion about how to value peoples contributions across many related projects.

for example all the work @burrrata is doing across say sourcecred and metafam is beneficial in a positive sum way. it seems like an open question about how to value work cross projects. The longterm vision of SourceCred includes value flowing across dependencies which will handle this well, but I am curious how it should impact (multiple) community values in the mean time.


Thanks! Also, great point! Synergy is kind of essential for positive-sum value creation. It’s like a konami code where the whole becomes greater than the sum of it’s parts. This is really essential for MetaGame as it’s a “meta” game and collaborations across borders (and tokens!) is super important :slight_smile:


I am with you, i don’t really need credit in any of the projects, in each case I am aiming to feed whatever stakes i get back to into future ecosystem growth, eg boosting in SourceCred.

However, I have noticed that this lack of concern for the financial incentive as opposed to the social ones has caused a bit of a blindspot… I see there are many of us in this boat, we’re do not necessarily have an accurate perspective for the later arrivals who really will want (and maybe need) to accumulate credit for say a salary. That is not to say they don’t also share the community values.

Since we want this particular (critical) value upheld we need to think about how it resolves in the incentives, lest we (re)invite tribalism.

We want people to accumulate to work that raises the most boats, not to the boat whose credit is viewed as most valuable or at the very least have a clear trade off and not default to the latter.


Could not agree more. It’s essential that value creation is tied to recognition and rewards - and in a capitalist society that means getting paid! In a crypto/token-economic project getting tokens (whether they represent reputation, governance, or cash money) is the equivalent. Those who contribute value should receive value. This is difficult, however, because lots of things are hard to measure and manage - esp through time. There’s lots of mechanisms that help with this (yay SoucreCred!), but all of these systems are limited by design. Games have to have rules otherwise they don’t work.

This is funny because often the highest leverage work involves thinking outside the box. In the context of a game (game theory or otherwise), this means thinking outside of the box of the current incentive systems. By definition this requires doing things that aren’t easily measured and managed, because no one even thought to do them before lol

This creates a dichotomy between being a player in a game and designing and building the game itself.

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It’s funny that this topic comes up so readily in the web3 sphere as it is also a fundamental blocker (and opportunity) in AI, including issues with algorithmic fairness.

Realizing what will create impact is so often harder than doing it. It requires a deeper understanding of the systems at play, their points of leverage and the act of representing that understanding a form which can be interpreted and acted upon by others (or machines). Machine learning for example works great on “well-posed” questions even if they are hard (such as image classification).

AI solves well posed problems, but i can never be the ultimate poser of the problem to be solved. As a human, if you can pose the issue and then deliver on the solution, it’s the choice of issue and recognition of the value its solution will provide that is the truly creative act.

In the context of the game design, this is where the human and the machine player truly deviate. A machine will exhibit whichever behaviors maximize explicit rewards while externalizing any form of value not being adequately incentivized. A human on the other hand can recognize an undervalued (even under-incentivized) activity and do it anyway to demonstrate that value, and claim the rewards the other humans bestow on them for their creative acts, in this case literally changing the game.

This is also why a purely technical view of web3, gamification and AI are insufficient for unlocking the power of these tools. They all need to be paired with healthy social systems to serve to steer the games (algorithms/platforms/etc) which are in turn steering them.

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This is one of my favorite aspects of SourceCred in that you can boost things that are undervalued to simultaneously draw attention to them and profit from future Cred flows to/through that thing. In this way SourceCred is a game, but it’s a game being played and designed at the same time - very meta. One might almost say it’s a meta game…

At the end of the day it’s all about decisions, and meta-decisions: decisions of what decisions are good and bad and what to optimize for. It really becomes a spiritual quest the more you dive into it lol

Enter: the Metagame


I’ve been thinking about this for MetaGame. For MetaGame character profiles, I actually plan on displaying all the cred/XP that person has across multiple different projects. E.g. on my profile you would see I have 800 XP in MetaGame and 300 XP in RaidGuild and 100XP in SourceCred. Dandelion also mentioned this idea of “meta-cred” that would be a cred score aggregating a bunch of other cred scores. Incentivizing building bridges and breaking silos is going to be one of the core ethos for MetaGame


in a RPG analogy, I am imagining level up along different campaign lines at the same time. So I guess we’d say the best work would be that which advances multiple campaigns at the same time?

I am excited for the character profiles, though I still struggle to see how I personally fit into the paradigm. I think there needs to be some sort of “support/healer” class analogy for those of us who work hard to buff the whole party but struggle to attribute concrete accomplishments in a very outcome oriented paradigm.


Totally agree that it would be awesome to build a system that makes this easier. Until then, however, might I recommend the SEED Entitlement Guide 👍

I read it. There is a personality type issue here. This process selects for people who are forward about what they have done. I find myself tentative to declare “my work is X” important and I will almost certainly lowball my X. You can tell me not to, but it’s baked in.

Every now and then I’ll push myself and offset this tendency consciously but the fact remains that there will be people like this, and I want to make the system more inclusive of them. Even something as simple as having a process by which members can make seed claims on others behalf could help. Something in the vein of the praise bot in commons stack.

My intention was actually to make the process over the top and ridiculous in order to counter balance the liklihood of awesome people not asking for their fair share, but totally see how that’s not appealing to people who are already not inclined to shill themselves lol

That would be awesome!

In many Aragon groups we have #nominations categories where people can shout out other people for doing work. We then give out weekly rewards based on nominations. The rewards are small, but it’s more about the recognition and social collaboration.

SourceCred also has boosting and Cred historians and curators to incentivize discovery and support of under appreciated awesomeness.

How does the CommonsStack Praise Bot work and how can I learn more about it?

The praisebot in commons-stack is a telegram bot that allows you to write messages
!praise @name text about awesome stuff they did and it results in data which is later reviewed and converted into CSTK tokens which are very similar to the seeds/XP concept in metagame. There are some controls on its use, originally it was core team, now I believe its open to the trusted-seed. It will continue to evolve over time but I can honestly say I’ve earned praise for things I would have never stepped up and asked for directly, eg publishing academic papers that were relevant but not directly related to commons stack.


I am quite happy with the way sourcecred works with regards to credit attribution. I am eagerly awaiting Boosting and its true that Cred historians were particularly impactful for my cred as several past contributions were identified and called out on my behalf. SourceCred also does a great job handling contributions of many types and because of the tagging and referencing features its relatively straightforward to identify and reward others work, even prior to the boosting mechanic.

So I suppose, once SourceCred becomes more integrated with MetaGame, the issue will be less technical and more cultural. We’ll want a culture of calling out each others contributions, and in my opinion, doing so even when those contributions were in related project. For example, an important improvement like the recent time-cred algorithm updates by @decentralion and @wchagrin would have broad reaching impacts and I believe merit seeds for its positive impact on the MetaGame.

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Yea, all these reasons you highlighted in the thread are why I’m pushing to migrate MetaGame over to using SourceCred ASAP. That praise bot is really cool, we definitely want to have something like in MetaGame if we can

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