Game mechanics for causes – Catalysts for Change

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Nothing is more captivating than a well-thought out game. That’s why more and more initiatives are building games (or using game mechanics) to create positive social change. Here’s a new one that launched today – it’s called Catalysts for Change, and it gives players a game-like competition for sharing and responding to ideas about solving the world’s social problems. It’s a bit like Quora meets Twitter meets Trivial Pursuit. Here’s a video they put together that provides a brief overview:

One you sign up, you’re asked to submit “cards”, which are basically suggestions or responses to specific issues. From there, you can browse individual cards and “chains” of cards composed of a string of responses from various players. A scoring system gives you points based on your submissions and the responses the’ve received, and there’s even an achievements system for those who really commit to playing. Here’s what the game’s dashboard looks like once you start playing:

The challenge with any game-like initiative is that if the game itself isn’t fun and engaging, then it’s a missed opportunity to really connect with people. Traditional game developers will readily admit that it’s not easy to create captivating titles, and socially-oriented games have an even bigger hurdle with the added goal of educating or empowering their players. Can Catalysts for Change pull it off and accomplish something really meaningful? Give it a try and find out for yourself! The game ends in less than two days, at 12:00 EST on Wednesday, April 5, so hurry.

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