I want to start by saying this is not an attack on anyone, regardless of rep level. Seriously, I'm not trying to start a flame war here.
But I am curious. Meta opened up, and there are already dozens of questions dealing specifically with rep. A few examples:
- Theoretical question: Hide rep above 10k?
- Will we get back rep points lost after a “rep recalc”?
- Can you offer a bounty once you’ve hit the daily rep cap, and then earn more rep from votes?
- Should downvoting cost you rep?
- Upvoting based on celebrity, too many upvotes (”excessive rep slurping”)
- What to do about rep inflation?
I'm not knocking these questions, nor their posters, nor the answerers. (Yes, I just invented a word. Shakespeare did it, too. :) ) And I will note that ALL of those links came just from the suggestions based on my title -- I didn't even have to do a search here.
I'm interested in others' opinions about rep in general, and why we all seem so fascinated by it, and if perhaps some of us take that fascination too far.
Since meta is the place for this kind of navel-gazing ... Are we too rep-focused? Should we be? Is rep just a fun game for some of us, or are there those of us who take it really seriously?
I would like to add something which I've already placed in a comment. I'm not proposing we get rid of rep, hide rep, destroy rep, nor anything else. I like the rep system. I consider it to be a very clever way to create a self-moderating system, by providing end users who have contributed value a way to keep the site clean and serene.
The question is not about StackExchange the software, nor StackOverflow/ServerFault/SuperUser/MetaStackOverflow the sites. The question is about we, the people, the end users. Are we, as individuals, too focused on achieving rep scores?