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This is not a specific request, but more of a general topic. On StackOverflow, points and gamification really work quite well.

But I think there's room for more. For example, my rep is 2000 and the way I see it - I'm looking forward to 3000 because I can help close/reopen. But after that, it's 10000 which is the next big privilege( accessing moderator tools).

What about the big gap between them? Anything in the pipeline already? Because it may motivate users to participate more!

I'm interested in maybe discussing optional convenience-type features for high-rep users. Maybe you would activate the ability to change the color scheme easily(i.e invert the colors). Or maybe you'd be able to hide certain parts of your view.

Or maybe I'm too just too gamified? ;-)

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Eventually, you just have to decide whether you like participating based on the value you add, the challenge, in addition to simply needing your own problems solved. After a while (and how long the "while" is depends on the user), there's simply nothing else to unlock. –  Anthony Pegram Apr 2 '13 at 15:47
@AnthonyPegram - True, that's a good point. So , perhaps you're saying some users are just gonna get bored & ddrop out regardless of the gamification. I agree –  Adel Apr 2 '13 at 15:48
There used to be the suggested edit review queue at 5k... but the limits been lowered with the new one. Maybe something to aim for between the two would be good but you've got to come up with a good idea of what that would be. –  ben is uǝq backwards Apr 2 '13 at 15:50
@benisuǝqbackwards - Ah I see , well I'll get thinking then.. there's gotta be something to work in :-) –  Adel Apr 2 '13 at 15:51
@Adel - Just wait until you get to see the wide prairies on the other side of 10k! Something rather uninteresting happens at 15k, a really minor thing at 20k, and then ... nothing ... All the way past the horizon! –  Bo Persson Apr 2 '13 at 19:06

5 Answers 5

up vote 6 down vote accepted

What about the big gap between them? Anything in the pipeline already? Because it may motivate users to participate more!

You might be surprised at how quickly you build reputation once you're over a few thousand. As you write more and more posts (especially answers), you begin to pick up reputation from those posts even weeks or months after you created them. The distance from 3000 to 5000 doesn't seem nearly as long as the distance between 0 and 2000.

Also, once you've acquired some privileges, there's more to do than just answer questions and try to build rep to earn more privileges. You can contribute in a meaningful way to the day-to-day maintenance of the site content.

Despite the gamification, SO isn't a game. You don't 'win' when you hit 10000. It's more like a hobby where you get to build something useful, but you do it because you enjoy the building as much as the end result.

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You "win" in so many ways. If you don't get a good feeling when you help out someone else, then you probably aren't/shouldn't be here. –  Cody Gray Apr 3 '13 at 3:25
@CodyGray I agree, certainly, but winning with respect to games implies an end to the game, and also a view of other participants as opponents. –  Caleb Apr 3 '13 at 4:41

No, too much gamification is bad. The badges make up for a good persistent gamification system, though for users who have passed 20k/etc.

I guess the system expects you, at one point, to forget about rep and be more concerned about the value your posts add to the Internet and the people you help .

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Thanks very much Manishearth! –  Adel Apr 2 '13 at 16:12
value adds to the internet lol –  hjpotter92 Apr 2 '13 at 16:14

Gamification is most powerful at the very start; ideally people get hooked while they're getting badges and privileges left and right. Hopefully some time after the first few hundred rep points one of the following two will happen:

  • Rep points/badges are fun enough on their own, so you don't need regular privilege/"level" upgrades
  • You sincerely care about the site and won't quit anytime soon just because you're "done"

I don't really think it's necessary to add more in-between (or more late-game) privileges because, in my experience, most high-rep users fall into one of those two categories. They either don't care about rep and just contribute (which is fine) or they enjoy helping and earning rep more than any particular goal (which is also fine).

Gamification is the means, not the end. It's nice that the game continues after 3k rep and such, but really I think the gamification does most of it's job at the very start, and there's just enough long term badges/points to make it interesting enough to keep up. There's certainly plenty to do (review, edit, close) once you've gained a couple hundred reputation I don't think there's too much risk of people getting bored (who wouldn't be bored even if we added a few more shinies, anyway).

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I agree, and it's awesome that there are many folk who want to simply help others! Thank you very much ! –  Adel Apr 2 '13 at 16:16

I'm not going to say that we have "more" gamification in the pipeline, but I do want to make it more focused. In the next couple of months, we will probably introduce a gamification dashboard widget somewhere that will help you find a goal to work toward that you might not be aware of.

Stuff like "edit two more posts to get this badge"...

I'm also tossing around an idea of kind of a horse race, where users could compete directly against each other for goals that they would choose themselves. I'm not sure how I feel about it, and I'm not ready to go out with a whole meta-post, but if anybody has any thoughts...

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I love the first idea. It would be great to see which tag badges I'm closest to so I know where to spend some effort when I have the time. –  Bill the Lizard Apr 2 '13 at 17:09
So you're abandoning the Xbox 360 model? No complaints from me. But I don't like the idea of a competition between users for badges. I think that gets too far away from the larger goal of an awesome Q&A site. –  Cody Gray Apr 3 '13 at 3:23
No horse race, please. One of the nice things about SO is that it's collaborative rather than competitive. Competition could bring up problems like users sabotaging other people's posts in an effort to get ahead. Ugh! Besides, we already have an element of friendly competition I guess the first part is OK, since much of the data about progress toward badges is already available on data, but I'm concerned that it might undermine badges if people stop a desired activity as soon as they achieve a badge. –  Caleb Apr 3 '13 at 14:52

If you find your interest lagging, may I suggest joining some more sites? I find that whenever my rep on one site starts to "catch up" my rep on another, I feel more interested in both sites, odd as that may seem.

rep graph

Things are interesting right now as Programmers, so long in the lead, finds itself neck and neck with Meta and the Workplace has just slipped past English... I can't help myself, I get interested in the graph as though it was a thing of its own rather than a summary of what I've been doing. (To see your own version of this, go to your profile on any site, click Network Profile and then select Reputation.)

There is more to gamification than the single number that is your rep on one site. Much more.

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