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Friday, August 07, 2009

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Tymmerie Thorne

They work for other "games" because I suspect MORE MEN AND BOYS PLAY THEM! IMHO, SL is appealing because of the story lines that can be created, the drama, the relationships, etc. At least that is why I like Second Life. I do not want rewards introduced because I do not want SL to attract the type of player who needs rewards in order to get and stay interested in it. There are plenty of games for that. Let us have this one game for Pete's sake!

Yes - there is a lot more that LL can do to gain followers. But SL does not have to be turned into WOW light for that to happen. It should grow based on its strengths.

Shava Nerad/Shava Suntzu in SL

We actually started with an avatar rating system in Second Life, but I suppose you have to have been around for a few years to remember that. It worked better when the community was very small, and was nuked in April 2007.

https://blogs.secondlife.com/community/features/blog/2007/04/12/removal-of-ratings-in-beta

Ratings are different from achievements, no doubt. But sandbox games like Second Life don't lend themselves as well to achievements.

Perhaps LL should look at games like FourSquare (http://playfoursquare.com/) that are RL social games involving social activities and locations, augmented by wearable computers (iphone)?

Doreen Garrigus

One person who commented on the last post went so far as to say that real achievement in SL is measured in dollars cashed out. I was stunned. Do people really believe that it is all about money? Do they think that way about real life, too? Based on that reasoning, the public school system is a failure and Philip Morris is a success.

At any rate, I did write something about this. Give me feedback. I want to know what you think, even if it is negative. (Not rude, though. I don't publish rude.)

http://originaldetail.blogspot.com/2009/08/hunts-achievements-and-failure-in.html

Hamlet Au

"They work for other "games" because I suspect MORE MEN AND BOYS PLAY THEM!"

That's true of the MMORPGs, Tym, but the main virtual worlds I mentioned (Gaia, Habbo, YoVille) have near gender parity. In fact, Gaia has *more* females than males:

http://gigaom.com/2007/04/22/move-over-myspace-gaia-online-is-here/

Metacam Oh

Achievement system would be nice and shiny to play with for a few weeks, but just another way to try and classify or make people camp or do whatever it is that causes one to get an achievement point. Unless you get achievement points for making money, no one is going to give a crap in the long run. Textures still don't load, Avatars can't gather in one place, Quicktime is still the only supported media, inventory still gets lost, and group chats don't work. Its time for this company to get its head out of its ass and fix these things.

Barney Boomslang

Oh yeah, because comparing kiddy worlds like Gaia Online, Habbo Hotel and the like with Second Life with an average age far in the "grown up" range makes so much sense ...

Yak

No! No! av's will start doing silly and meaningless things (... mmm if they are not doing that already hehe)Look at Plurk, where the 'karma' rating leads to excessive 'good morning's 'good afternoon's 'good evening's 'good wakey uppies' etc.

Hamlet Au

Actually Gaia and Habbo skew up to around 24, while YoVille skews 60 percent female and up to *35*. Fairly close to SL demographics.

http://gigaom.com/2009/03/31/how-virtual-world-yoville-got-5m-facebook-users/

Crap Mariner

Unless the achievements are productive once like "learn to script" and "build something that doesn't suck" and "work together to make your place look good instead of a chaotic hellhole" and "make someone's day a little nicer" and "look the way you want to look and halfway decent" they'd be meaningless and shallow.

There's no system out there than can judge those achievements besides setting your own goals and working towards achieving them. Only you (and I suppose the reactions you get) can determine if you've reached them or not.

Besides, we've got enough pop-ups already stealing screen-space.

I continue to stand by Foamy the Squirrel in this one. (Especially the bit about the Munchkin... BLECH!)

-ls/cm

Hamlet Au: "ACHIEVEMENT! Beating A Dead Horse!"

Adric Antfarm


The garbage dump is growing faster than Second Life as well.

Second Life was here before a lot of these flash in the pan MMOs and will be here after.

Maybe not as big or flashy, but here.

You don't copy those who copy you.

Pyewacket Bellman

After the wild success of the "Resident's Choice Awards" ....

but - the question is, why don't people stay?

A good percentage arrive in world with insufficient bandwidth or graphics cards. Of the remainder - a good percentage have no interest in unstructured play dates.

For those that get past the first day - and it's probably the same percentage of total first time log ons that it's always been - Second Life is not the same place new users found a few years ago.

Linden Labs may want to consider yet another continent - for new users. Bring back the first land program of 512 plots - only this time, the plots can't be joined - or sold. Give first land owners an "award" of a monthly Linden credit to be used against the purchase of new land when they decide to move on.

Dusan Writer

Wow. It's no WONDER it's taking me so long to level up.

radar

"We actually started with an avatar rating system in Second Life, but I suppose you have to have been around for a few years to remember that. It worked better when the community was very small, and was nuked in April 2007." - Shava Suntzu

Ugh, I hated that so bad. By the time I came along in Sept of 06, that thing was such a freaking popularity contest. "Here, let me pay lindens to boost your already tremendous ego!" Yeah. Umm. No thanks.

The thing about achievements is that they are already annoying and useless in other games. You get them for showing up, pretty much. And that's what it would be like in SL, more annoying things hitting you in the face that mean nothing and would be the equivalent of rewards for people being able to sit up and breathe air and waste resources. Yikes. Please. Not one more thing to impress people with how important they are.

Net Antwerp

I'm sure *you* could make your own Achievemt System based VW using OpenSim. It doesn't work -AT ALL- in Second Life, a pure (infant) Simulation/Ecommerce/Hangout platform.

Unlike OpenSim, Gaia/Habbo/YoVille can't be directly compared to Second Life. Two DIFFERENT entities. Oranges and Mandarins. Watermelons and Melons. Western Civilization vs Eastern Civilization. And so on.

Quoting Crap Mariner:
"There's no system out there [in Second Life] than can judge those achievements besides setting your own goals and working towards achieving them"

Hamlet Au

"Look at Plurk, where the 'karma' rating leads to excessive 'good morning's 'good afternoon's 'good evening's"

Plurk is actually a very good example of a *successful* achievement system. I was emailing with the founder a few months ago, and he gave me stats suggesting it generates *far* better engagement levels than Twitter. That's almost certainly due in great part to the Karma system.

"Unlike OpenSim, Gaia/Habbo/YoVille can't be directly compared to Second Life. Two DIFFERENT entities"

If you're suggesting SL is different because it's a dynamically user-created world, I agree to some extent. HOWEVER, if you look at the user behavior patterns of most active SL members, they're actually using Second Life in a very similar way to Gaia/Habbo/et. al: For light social gaming. The number of SL users who create content as their central activity are probably around 10%, perhaps even less.

Eirik Haefnir

They work for other 'games' because those are games. SL isn't.

"and he gave me stats suggesting it generates *far* better engagement levels than Twitter. That's almost certainly due in great part to the Karma system."

Yes, the point of the poster was that this "engagement" just leads to nonsensical spam. Quality > quantity.

coco

SL HAS an achievment system PERFECT for its ADULT PAYING audience.

Celebrity, Money, and Sex and Blogger Whores who make it all work.

coco


Hamlet Au

"this 'engagement' just leads to nonsensical spam. Quality > quantity"

I don't agree that it's Spam, all those constant chatty Plurks are one reason there's such a large community of SL users on there. Most of those "'good morning's 'good afternoon's 'good evening's 'good wakey uppies'" generate several replies or more from the Plurkers' friends, that doesn't seem like Spam to me.

Manx Wharton

Saying that a value index won't work ISL is like saying PageRank didn't work for Larry.

Crap is right (a wonderful phrase I intend to repeat again and again) in that the trick with quantifying people's performance into a 'score' lies in valuing users' wacky performance objectives on The Grid.

On the other hand, it's not that hard. Grown-up financial portfolio management theory would have a lot to contribute here.

Really the driver on how to construct a quality index of some kind is who the creators or expected users are. Building a crowdsourced rating system a la Yelp for SL users (or venues, or events, etc etc etc) is not a hard chore either, and nobody's stopping anybody from doing it.

DMC Jurassic

"A Single Leveling or Achievement System is not likely to Work for Second Life (tm)"

Leveling Systems have been successful for 'games' or 'micro-metaverses' operating in-world; however, the application of a broad spectrum level or achievement system for the 'SL Grid or even Open Grid' is somewhat restrictive considering Second Life's (tm) loosely coupled architecture design to produce a neutral platform environment that encourages new & original conceptual content creation from unique users of SL from different countries all of the the world.

Leveling Systems via SL solution providers = absolutely (i.e. business, gaming, education, etc.).

Leveling for the grid = 'no' (better to have a diverse & rich ecosystem of lots of different leveling or achievement systems for residents to choose from that are matched to SL users and their own 'cross-cultural or niche interests' rather than trying to make one size fit all).

Arwyn Quandry

I think achievements would go against the spirit of SL - you make your own way in the world and don't follow a pre-set path like you do in MMOs. "Your World, Your Imagination" is what SL is supposed to be based around, not "Your World, Here's How You Play". It would result in pointless spam, as I don't see a way to make the achievements useful and/or meaningful. It would be cool if there was a way to make them work, but I don't think computers are good enough yet.

SignpostMarv Martin

I've actually got a programmable achievements system partially implemented that I've been working on with some SL Residents (it only does location-based achievements at the moment).

The project is on hiatus mostly because I doubted there was a demand for it.

Net Antwerp

Quoting Hamlet Au:
--------------------------------
"I don't agree that it's Spam, all those constant chatty Plurks are one reason there's such a large community of SL users on there. Most of those "'good morning's 'good afternoon's 'good evening's 'good wakey uppies'" generate several replies or more from the Plurkers' friends, that doesn't seem like Spam to me"
---------------------------------

No, Hamlet, it's Spam. Replying to someone on Plurk increases *their* Karma.

It's quite annoying to see "Good Morning!" or "Good Night!" on the timeline, especially if it's what they say mostly. Twitter/MySpace/Facebook doesn't have any Achievement Systems -at all---> look how successful they are.

This isn't Disney, or any other cute-looking social gaming platform designed to lure attention and money from naive teenagers.

Not everyone uses Second Life for "light social gaming". Ecommerce and interactive 3D chat is the No.1 priority for Private residents, while cost savings: Employee training, Virtual Simulations/Mashups and Meetings are the top priorities for Enterprise users.

wtf? u kidding right?

how about focusing on making the grid work more efficiently?

Hamlet Au

"Twitter/MySpace/Facebook doesn't have any Achievement Systems -at all-"

They pretty much do, actually -- Twitter publicly lists a user's number of followers and Tweets, while MySpace and Facebook publicly list a user's number of Friends. A lot of activity on all those sites is driven by the desire to gain more friends and followers, so in effect they're achievement systems.

"Ecommerce and interactive 3D chat is the No.1 priority for Private residents, while cost savings: Employee training, Virtual Simulations/Mashups and Meetings are the top priorities for Enterprise users."

Those are valid objectives too, but can also be developed while an achievement system is being put in place. More importantly, since an achievement system will almost certainly increase Second Life's total user base, it will also benefit those sectors too. More users means more people using the ecommerce system. More users makes it easier for enterprise users to convince their companies that Second Life is a worthwhile investment, and expands their potential client base.

Tristin Mikazuki

We had that before it was called Rateings... and was gamed like mad lol This is no different

Kanomi Pikajuna

Hee, hee, thanks for the link :)

Gaia Online actually launched in 2003. I joined in 2004.

I wouldn't call Gaia an 'achievement system', it's more about collectibles, particularly the rare items they gave out in the early days which are no longer available except in occasional and expensive auctions, giving dedicated users motive to stick around and earn enough to get them.

All Gaia Collectibles (which are Avatar decorations, basically) increase in value over time, due to Gaia gold inflation and scarcity of the original items.

(You earn Gaia gold by hanging on the site, playing games, watching sponsored trailers, buying coupons and above all, posting on the forums, btw.)

The most scarce item of all, the Halo, is so valuable that the site admins literally keep track of them personally to guard against fraud, there's only like 14 or so known left out of a site with literally millions of users.

If you work out the Gaia gold to rare item conversions, some of the items are worth hundreds and even thousands of dollars. The Halo I mentioned before, I haven't done the math in a while, but it's worth far more than that. Yes, a single pixel item on a popular teen forum is worth more than many multi-sim SL land holdings.

Because of this perceived value (and the naivete of most of the users), hacked accounts is constant problem on that site, because those valuable items can be transferred and laundered.

Apart from the 3D engine, that's to me the key difference between SL and Gaia: the collectibles can be bought and sold; in fact there's an entire sub-community that does nothing but play the user auction marketplace there. But unlike SL objects, they are *NOT* infinitely duplicated and *NOT* user-generated.

That makes them also different from Xbox Achievements, which *ARE* infinitely duplicated: everyone who beats an Xbox game in theory can get all the achievements if they just keep playing. But these are not user-generated: nobody's going to steal your password or pay you $200 for your Xbox "Beat Madden in Hard Mode" achievement, which isn't transferable anyway.


I had a fun time on Gaia, should do a blog post about it. The game dynamics there were the best I've ever seen on a web-based forum.

It is however a different take on the whole community-commerce-involvement thing, and I don't see it being comparable or applicable to SL that much at all.

Doreen Garrigus

Hamlet, what do you think this system should look like? It sounds to me like everyone is arguing against what they think you might be imagining, rather that what you have actually suggested.

Hamlet Au

I'll write about that in a follow-up post, Doreen, but you're right I better cough something up fairly soon. :)

Net Antwerp

Having thousands of followers/friends on Twitter etc doesn't really mean much - thousands of messages per day, impossible to read, understand and possibly respond to *all* of them. Even if you use Tweetdeck, Seesmic Desktop etc.

Follower stats is meaningless. The more people you follow, the more muddier the water gets.

Everyone already knows that 'Second Life' isn't a stable, long-term platform to invest their billions of dollars in. Linden Corruption, Scaremongering and community tampering as well as the lack of development - moving forwards - are the main culprits of residential and business investors leaving permanently or shying away.

Stability has nothing to do with moving forwards with new technologies, as Snowglobe has shown us.

Linden Lab is a SERVICE PROVIDER, like ISPs. They should act accordingly like one.

Net Antwerp

Having thousands of followers/friends on Twitter etc doesn’t really mean much - thousands of messages per day, impossible to read, understand and possibly respond to *all* of them. Even if you use Tweetdeck, Seesmic Desktop etc.

Follower stats is meaningless. The more people you follow, the more muddier the water gets.

Nightbird Glineux

If there was an achievement system in SL, would I be allowed to opt out?

Crap Mariner

@Hamlet

It will up the account base, not the actual number of customers.

As you say:

"Twitter publicly lists a user's number of followers and Tweets, while MySpace and Facebook publicly list a user's number of Friends. A lot of activity on all those sites is driven by the desire to gain more friends and followers, so in effect they're achievement systems."

A lot of the Twitter followers people see these days are spambots and friend-boosting networks.

If you enact any achievement metric based on friends, expect the same in SL: "Buy A Friend, 1L A Month Per Friend."

In fact, you can expect that for any achievement metric you enact.

Never underestimate the SL customerbase's ability to game the system and violate the spirit of any effort done for them (whether they want it or not).

-ls/cm

CyFishy Traveler

Keep in mind that many people log into Facebook because of the various games attached to it that do involve classic 'leveling up' structures. And, for that matter, Second Life has a number of inworld 'games' that have that as well. (Bloodlines and 7Seas Fishing off the top of my head, as much as Seven Shikami might blanch to see the two games in the same sentence.)

I'm rather reminded of Steven Pressfield's notion of 'hierarchy' vs. 'territory' in his book The War of Art. Game structures where people 'level up' are hierarchical--self-worth is measured by status. Second Life is more territorial--you get out of it what you put into it, in whatever 'territory' you've defined for yourself. (Pressfield defines 'territory' as "a closed feedback loop. Our role is to put in effort and love; the territory absorbs this and gives it back to us in the form of well-being.")

Trying to impose a hierarchical structure on a territorial environment, if you agree with Pressfield's take on it, does not make for pleasant results.

If you like your creativity cleanly pre-packaged, then, yes, Second Life is a little confusing and hard to maneuver. If you like your creativity messy and participatory, Second Life is one of the awesomest things in the ever.

Jura Shepherd

Poor Hamlet has taken such a beating over this lol.

I don't think I care one way or the other. I've been in long enough to have sort of made my own way but for new people I don't think the idea of checking off achievements is terrible.

I fully understand and appreciate the open-ended nature of SL in a first-hand way but I also know there are thousands hidden away in rp sims. Although I don't rp, I have been remotely involved in Osiris (formerly RPCS) and the whole "leveling" thing is sort of addictive. It's not hard to imagine how something like it might retain a new SL person's interest long enough for them to get into other things.

I'm down with Kanomi's plan. Let's do it :p

Hamlet Au

"If you like your creativity cleanly pre-packaged, then, yes, Second Life is a little confusing and hard to maneuver. If you like your creativity messy and participatory, Second Life is one of the awesomest things in the ever."

I don't think that's entirely fair, CyFishy, I know a lot of extremely creative, smart people who are totally interested in Second Life as a concept, but have simply decided that the learning curve and the "What do I do now?" barrier is too high for them to invest their time in. An achievement system would give early focus and direction to folks like that, too.

"Never underestimate the SL customerbase's ability to game the system and violate the spirit of any effort done for them (whether they want it or not)."

Crap, I devoted a whole chapter to my book on that phenomenon, you know that. I saw that happen with the original ratings system when I was still a Linden. Even then, I'm convinced that a) It's possible to create an achievement system that cannot be *excessively* gained (note the qualifier, all systems are gameable, but the salient question is whether it still benefits the majority), b) It's necessary for Second Life to gain true mass market growth and numbers.

Nightbird Glineux

*shrug* I hope I can ignore this as I do voice.

Doreen Garrigus

I think a key point would be to make it opt-in, rather than opt-out. I suspect that would take care of most of the objections here.

CyFishy Traveler

I don't think that's entirely fair, CyFishy, I know a lot of extremely creative, smart people who are totally interested in Second Life as a concept, but have simply decided that the learning curve and the "What do I do now?" barrier is too high for them to invest their time in. An achievement system would give early focus and direction to folks like that, too.

There are other ways to handle that problem than imposing an achievement system. It's the main reason I started my Newbie Site in the first place--because I wanted to help people hike up the learning curve more quickly.

Robbie Kiama

I must agree with people saying that creating niche rating systems can benefit Second Life much better than trying to create one size fits all system.

SL is trying to teach new person of ALL the good things SL has to offer at ONCE! I think this is wrong, it's way too much for new person to swallow...

There are 3rd party games, systems, organizations, groups that could create their own rating systems(which is happening already in some of them), turning the whole phenomenon into many niche ecosystems evolution. Better visibility of such ecosystems, might provide the incentive for new person to find and choose his path across SL. And only further along this path will the person be able to learn more and more about SL in general.

Arcadia Codesmith

It's pretty clear that any achievement system has a built-in "opt-out" -- you just don't work towards any achievements. Therefore, if you loathe the idea of achievements, YOU DON'T HAVE TO PLAY. And if that's not enough, you can have a button that hides the whole system so you don't even have to look at it.

That being the case, the most honest objection to any such system that I've seen in this discussion is that it would bring "the wrong element" into the world. You know, gamers and the like. I hear they eat their young...

And it's that insular social cliquishness that will kill Second Life, if it's not actively countered. We need a higher degree of churn, we need fresh faces, new friends to make, new marks to fleece, whatever.

Some people will skim the achievements and skip off to the next world, never getting too deep. That's fine, that's good, they still contribute just by their presence. Others will get caught in the gravity well and plummet down to join our ranks, and that's even better.

Achievements don't change the game, they expand the game. If you measure status by your expensive skin or how much real money you make or who comes to your catty salon session, those pleasures are unchanged. But they provide an alternative for people who don't really give a damn about your status games, and I account that as a very positive step out of the clique and towards a more vibrant and diverse VW.

Hamlet Au

Good points, Arcadia. There's a jaw-dropping number of first-time users who don't even get off the orientation island... by one estimate that I'm checking now with the Lindens, it's up to 80%! Who never even get that far! Then still more dropoff when they get to the Welcome Area.

Ener Hax

sounds interesting and you owuld have excellent insight as to how it could be abused (i read that in your book about the old rating system isl)

would it include outworld efforts as well? my partner, Subquark, has done several real world conferences, online forums, and creates eLearning video tutorials

how about Twitter efforts and Facebook that help provide information and resources to help other maximize their sl experience and contributions?

i like your idea, although i can't see myselft really participating in it. i let my residents rate me based on experience with me in world and that old fashioned word of mouth and reputation =)

HeadBurro Antfarm

I certainly wouldn't mind if they were introduced, but by the same token I certainly wouldn't use them or check them. I just don't care about achievments - I didn't care about badges when I was a wee cub scout and I still don't care. I couldn't tell you how many followers I have on twitter or when I lose some. I have no idea what awards I have gained in Left4Dead. I just play and that's enough :-D

radar

I'm one that could not stand the dynamic of plurk, but I still use twitter daily and see no reason not to. Plurk for me was a total time water of BS and drama and "answer my thread" B.S.

I guess it's what you are into, but I really don't think that plurk has caught on nearly as much as twitter for the majority of people.

Kate Amdahl

Hamlet, for the first few minutes after reading this post, I was excited about the idea, but then some new thoughts began to creep in. I think there are three big problems with some kind of achievement system for Second Life.

First, and probably most importantly, how can you meaningfully create a computerized achievement system things like creativity, social activity, communication, and community contribution? The only way I can think of is to make it a voting type of thing, which tends to be not only a popularity contest, but a rigged popularity contest, what with all the alts and bots in the world!

The second thing I worry about is that any system designed to motivate people by rewards, even if it's just sort of increased reputation, tends to create a whole bunch of unintended activity that degrades its value, like Yak's point about Plurk. And yes, you're right, Plurk does keep people involved...but is that the way we really want to be involved in things? Karma gaming in Plurk is the social equivalent of the bubble wrap game. If there's an incentive system, it should support meaningful contributions, not just showing up!

My last concern won't be the same for everyone, but it's an important one for me, at least. Second Life isn't a game: it's a way that I communicate with people and get involved in things. My personality is real, my relationships are real, and my experiences are real in how they impact on me. To add any kind of a "score" to that experience tries to push it toward making it a game. For me, the idea of adding a system for rating achievements to Second Life is like adding a system for rating achievements in First Life...and of course I know there are a number of those, but none that sit in profiles anyone can view by clicking on our heads!

If an achievement system is a great idea, someone (maybe SignpostMarv?) can create a HUD system connected to a server where people who want to can get the HUD and rate each other. Those of us who don't want to rack up a score for our lives can just ignore it. :)

Tormented Twilight

I've got ya with one better here:
A comprehensive list of 50 collectible Second Life achievements (with patches):

http://junkworld.weebly.com/achievements.html

Karim

Very thoughtfull post on achievements. It should be very much helpfull

Thanks,
Karim - Positive thinking

Charles2 McCaw

It seems to me that SL already has multiple achievement systems. As has already been pointed out there is the monetary system, ie how many lindens did I earn this week? There is the friends list system .... what is the number and quality of my friends list? For performing artists there is the size of audience achievement, as well as "tips." For sim owners, traffic. For those that blog about SL, page views. All of these aside, there are the less quantifiable, but more important achievements including good will, reputation, skill sets, relationships, and the sheer entertainment of "playing the game." Would a sytems of badges, icons, points, rank/titles like other "games" use actually be a draw. The answer if probably, "Yes!" for some. But, if so, won't creative users come up with such a system on their own and not have to rely on the Lindens to invent it?

Markus Breuer

Tateru did a very good post in reply to this. Not sure why she did not comment directly here. Check it out: http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2011/03/04/second-life-will-not-benefit-from-an-achievements-system/

I have to admit that I tend to take sides with her on that issue. I can not imagine a working achievements system on an open ended platform like SL. SL is an abstracted, but still very flexible world modelled on the real world. While we have achievements here, they are multi-dimensional, not universally the same (not for different cultures, peer groups and even different within these groups). I don't see a chance to model this with enough flexibility.

And I would strongly recommend against a one-dimensional system like the ones present in most of the example, you cite, Hamlet. The effects on people's behavior are often not pretty. Plurk is a good example. There is usually a group of people that is happy which such a system - because it reflects a part of what makes them tick in the RL society.

But it would make the plattform less attractive to people, who tick differently. Thats at least one important reason, why some SLer are on Plurk, but the majority is not. They are just not comfortable with Plurk's system of "rewarding" their behavior.

Therefore it is my firm belief, that any one-dimensional achievement would limit SLs reach, not broaden it.

Annamint

"They pretty much do, actually -- Twitter publicly lists a user's number of followers and Tweets, while MySpace and Facebook publicly list a user's number of Friends. A lot of activity on all those sites is driven by the desire to gain more friends and followers, so in effect they're achievement systems." Hamlet Au...

As a facebook user, I depute this heavily, I use it to keep contact with my real life friends (And some Secondlife one's too.) I don't give a damn if someone else has more friends than me, I'm not going to start adding random strangers just so I can have a bigger number. (In fact I'm quite selective about who I add in general.)
Secondlife already HAS that kind of 'achievement' anyway, whether it be a large roleplay group following or having a large private home that you share with your friends. You don't need a 'system' in place for it in facebook, just like you don't in secondlife.

SL is never going to be THE next 'insert random excessively popular social timewasting platform here' it already was and that time passed, it's essential now to knuckle down and understand that perhaps it doesn't actually get much better than this. (In user figures anyway.) I think LL might find that when core issues are solved that user hours would go up anyway, that or reducing land costs to something more reasonable. (The people I know who don't spend so much time in SL (But do in other virtual realms) feel priced out, and unable to enjoy themselves in the way they want to.)

Now if you were proposing an achievement system style based tutorial - THAT would be different. Which is the only place in SL for such a system I think. After all people learn best when they are doing. (as supposed to being told)

If anything else I would be cautious about achievement systems being added to new games in general - peoples investment into them seems to be dwindling at best. And the core experience still needs to hold them - especially when there's no 'peer' group reason to engage in it. (Like with Xbox games, where your network of friends will know if you gave up :D)

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