Pristine Fields or: a +sum alpha
“One way or another, if human evolution is to go on, we shall have to learn to enjoy life more thoroughly” - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
At playlab we are big fans of the idea that a game framework is a potent tool for affecting our behaviour. We also have a firm belief in the idea that if you are going to step forward into the field of applied sociology, then it ought to be done with a grasp of some theory.
We developed +sum this year in order to produce an engine for visualising, raising and sustaining an area’s Jen ratio, a measure of the social well being of an environment designed by positive psychologist Dacher Keltner to quantify the ratio of positive and negative micro-interactions between strangers. In the process we also created the technical framework which supports it - a framework for the delivery of missions to players, and the ability for players to receive points, give points, share messages and collaborate on completing those missions.
HOW IT WORKS
+sum players are all on the same team and competing to fulfill the same global goal. The global goal is designed to visualise an area’s Jen ratio. Points are the currency by which positive ‘Jen’ is transferred, and in asking players to award each other points for positive actions completed we put them in the position of researcher, giving us a fairly live and fluid measurement of the positive interactions in a space.
Players are given a visual icon to alert other players to their engagement in the game, and delivered missions by the web-app sitting doing the counting behind the scenes. These missions require the completion of a quick social task, informed in it’s design by the fulfiment of some point along Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. We designed a quick probability schema, ensuring that tasks which were simple to acheive were delivered more consistently than tasks which were complex.
DOES IT WORK
Well we certainly learned a lot from installing this game into a social space. We’ll be leveraging all of that data into the next version of the software, which will come complete with an all new lick of paint, and narrative iconography - just in time for some music festivals this summer. More on that very soon.
If you’re interested in learning more, or in having us install +sum in your bar, club or social space - let us know at email@example.com.
playlab LONDON is a community of designers, artists, gamers and coders enthusiastic about deploying the technology of play to positive social effect.
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Use the arrow keys to look around.
Keep Me Company Company is built on the +sum framework and like +sum, KMCC was conceived as an engine for visualising, raising and sustaining an area's Jen ratio, a measure of the social well being of an environment designed by positive psychologist Dacher Keltner. Unlike +sum, KMCC provides a simple narrative frame to ease the player into the game, and a solid set of game play goals.
KMCC casts players as executives in company which profits from the social feats performed by it's employees. Those playing collect points ('bucks') which accumulate in a central pool to bolster the companies share in a fictional market, against competitors such as UnSociable inc. The game ends when the company has gathered 100% dominance of the market place.go back
The Keep Me Company Company is a radical non profit adventure in giving more value to doing positive things.
At playlab we are big fans of the idea that a game framework is a potent tool for affecting our behaviour. We created +sum as a technical framework which supports that goal.
+sum allows for the delivery of missions to players, and the ability for players to receive points, give points, share messages and collaborate on completing those missions.