Just got back from a day of galivanting around to wedding and party – it was great!  The wedding I just went to, between good friends (of mine, and of each other, obviously!) Kelly and Laura was so wonderful, and despite there being a ton to talk about re: their specific event, I decided to talk a little bit about a kind of peripheral activity they had: achievements for guests to earn.

Rebecca and I,  two Mays ago, had a combined birthday / “passed the bar” party where I provided achievements for guests.  Basically, there was a list of activities the guests could do to get credit, and then either Rebecca or I would give them the badge.  At the wedding today, they had a table set out with the conditions to achieve and the nametag sized badges.

As social games go, the achievement game is pretty great.  It has especially wondeful social merit in situations where not everyone “playing” knows everyone else.  For example, if you tell people to go mingle to get an achievement, you are incentivizing them through the game to come out of their shell a bit.  By making it a game, a certain class of typical asocial people (i.e. gamers) will stray from their comfort zone, which I personally think is awesome.

It’s not a game that can be used in every context.  However, it is one of the few I have played where it is relatively easy to get non-gaming inclined individuals to participate (whether they are striving toward achievements, or helping others to fulfill theirs).  In that way, it is very powerful, and very valuable, and I will continue to look for ways to engineer incentives via this achievement game to involve people in games. :)