Social and Philosophical pillars

Together we have it all

As it was already mentioned main idea of my game is that it is going to be crowdsourcing. So it is all about participation and contribution. This has a lot to do with social and philosophical pillars of sustainability.

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Social and philosophical sustainability are less defined and less discussed then environmental and economical ones. Though, as for my mind, they are not least important. We can define social sustainability as the ability of a community to develop processes and structures which not only meet the needs of its current members but also support the ability of future generations to maintain a healthy community.

Nobel Laureat Amartya Sen gives the following dimensions for social sustainability:

  • Equity – the community provides equitable opportunities and outcomes for all its members, particularly the poorest and most vulnerable members of the community
  • Diversity – the community promotes and encourages diversity
  • Interconnected/Social cohesions – the community provides processes, systems and structures that promote connectedness within and outside the community at the formal, informal and institutional level
  • Quality of life – the community ensures that basic needs are met and fosters a good quality of life for all members at the individual, group and community level (e.g. health, housing, education, employment, safety)
  • Democracy and governance – the community provides democratic processes and open and accountable governance structures.
  • Maturity – the individual accept the responsibility of consistent growth and improvement through broader social attributes (e.g. communication styles, behavioural patterns, indirect education and philosophical explorations

Let’s see how this corresponds with crowdsourcing games. From the definition it follows that a lot of people are involved in this process, and they all are from different layers of society. And doesn’t make any difference on how rich the person is, his or her abilities to participate  in this project are always equal. The more diverse participators would be, the better is the result. To build AI later on in is needed to have as much different results as possible. Only this may help to make the AI more human – alike.

It is really important, that once launched, this system can live on its own.

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To achieve social and philosophical aspects of sustainability it is needed to understand needs of everybody, who is involved in a project. This can be done through analyzing motivation factors.

trait perspective: individual stable motives (achievement motive, need for power, need for affiliation). So, in the project achievements and success would be emphasized, by usage of leaderboards and badges. This project will be a competition, with several winners. So, it would engage players with strong achievement motive mostly. It is important to make a belief around this ‘game.

behaviorist learning perspective: results from past positive and negative reinforcements, which influence the probability of future behavior. ‘Players’ would be motivated by fast feedback – evaluation of their results by other users.

perspective of self – determination: focuses on social – contextual conditions. Players would experience both autonomy and social relatedness.

perspective of interest: individual preferences and content aspects.

And as these processes have to be mutual, every person involved in a project should take care about 2 things:

  • First, do no harm—In what ways are we undermining these needs for our stakeholders?
  • Second, make a positive difference—How can we contribute to meeting these needs in a sustainable way?

Also, speaking about these aspects of sustainability we shouldn’t forget about cons of using gamification and crowdsourcing science.

First of all, motivation factors, described above, should be achieved successfully. Otherwise, there is a risk that somebody wouldn’t be fair enough or wouldn’t take the participation in the project seriously enough. And so, his / her results wouldn’t be correct and can be really harmful for the statistics and the project.

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And is it all good about gamification? Some scientists think that it blurs boundaries between virtuality and reality. So, for example, when used a lot in studying, students may not realize danger of chemicals or electrostatics because their only experience in using them has been in simulations online. And similar examples may be found in different spheres of life.

But what is even more dangerous, is that it leads to overstimulation or game play addiction. And as a result, people do not have enough stimulus to do something, what is not gamified and can manage their time poorly, based mostly on the will to achieve new level, and not to complete the task which was gamified.

 

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