People like to collect things and respond well to collection-based incentives, even for abstract collections like "points" in games. The reward of "gaining points" is all it takes to get many people to enthusiastically apply themselves to tasks that might otherwise seem, well, pointless. Wikipedia should adapt elements of gaming to draw in new users, strategically encourage participation in important areas, and incentivize useful tasks. This would be a cross-project point system, which would also offer a way to introduce users from one project to other projects and give them a chance to learn the ropes when they first join.
Add an optional role-playing game style quest system to Wikimedia projects, where editors can earn points for completing specific "quests". Wikimedians would "level-up" after earning enough points.
Quests for new users:
- Make an edit
- Create a user page
- Read the introductory page about wiki-markup, then wikify an article tagged as "wikify" (which could be assigned randomly)
- Create an article
- Add a free image to an article tagged as needing images
- Take a photo and add it to a relevant article that currently lacks photos
- Add a citation to support a passage labeled "citation needed"
- Read the deletion policy page and then weigh in on a (randomly assigned) deletion discussion.
- Read "What is a good article" page and then review a good article candidate
- Upload a self-made educational image to Wikimedia Commons
- Read and comment on a story on Wikinews
- Clean up a Wiktionary entry that has been roughly transwikied from Wikipedia
- Add a new definition to Wiktionary
- Add alt text to pictures that currently lack descriptions for the visually impaired
- Link an orphaned article into the pedia
Many of those new user quests could also be offered to more experienced Wikimedians whenever backlogs build up
Longer term features for more experienced users could include:
- Adopting new users
- Responding to requests for help
- Getting a higher position on the list of Wikimedians by number of edits
We offer little guidance to new users, and little recognition for users who deal with important low-profile tasks. Some editors would respond well to the addition of gaming elements to Wikimedia projects.
- Has the community sufficiently gotten over its self-perception as a bunch of nerds to go forward with something that might reinforce that perception?
- Development time. Could probably be done well by volunteers.
- Gamer-nerd stigma.
- Solution: "Choose your own adventure" style? Even the jocks like those. Worth looking in to.
- What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy (2007) by James Paul Gee
- Rajat Paharia's presentation video and slides on Driving User Behavior with Game Dynamics and Behavioral Economics.
Do you have a thought about this proposal? A suggestion? Discuss this proposal by going to Proposal talk:Add game-like features.
Want to work on this proposal?
- Vibhijain 10:45, 6 May 2011 (UTC) Should be only for Content editing.
- .. Sign your name here!