I have a feeling Stack Exchange sites are appealing to the role-playing gamer sides of its users. If you look at reputation, it's similar to XP earned in RPG games like World of Warcraft, Garena, Diablo, etc. Answering a question and getting it accepted is akin to succeeding a quest, and so on so forth. Things like voting, bounties and badges especially look like MMORPG elements to me.

So this kind of software which actively rewards folks for feats while providing a profile which they can potentially show off on other sites/personal blogs etc — into which genre can we put it? Here it also shows top-rep people — sort of a ladder which you can climb up, and gives you occasional acheivements like "Scholar", "Autobiographer", etc — very similar to trophy collection in PS3. By the way, PS3 profiles also have badges, which you can put on other sites.

Going further along this line of thought, what other elements can we bring in? Can we bring in items that are purchased by reputation (e.g., software items like a larger profile picture or a real-life SE C# certificate), or something similar to spells (e.g., necro-question-mancy — reopens a closed question once), and even set up P2P combat (e.g., 2 people with high rep can challenge each other to answer a question and a reputation transfer happens when one of them is accepted).

Let me know what you guys think on this subject, and also if you have a name for this genre of software.

  • 3
    possible duplicate of Stack Overflow's voting system is not entertaining enough
    – YOU
    Apr 14, 2011 at 13:31
  • 14
    Grammarian Killbog has used the "clean up post" spell, dealing 13 characters of damage to the target post. It cost him 43 mana.
    – Welbog
    Apr 14, 2011 at 13:32
  • :D @Grammarian Killbog N1
    – Zasz
    Apr 14, 2011 at 13:40
  • Are you taunting me?
    – Welbog
    Apr 14, 2011 at 13:41
  • I think it will bring a lot of young people into stackoverflow. I know for a fact that my friends whoever do participate in StackOverflow do so in order to gain reputation, just like my Starcraft 2 players trying to go up the ladder.
    – Zasz
    Apr 14, 2011 at 13:55
  • 1
    We already have most of that. You don't have enough points yet to know all the possible privileges. For example, users with the requisite reputation can already vote to re-open a closed post; no spells required. We already have badges, exactly as those you describe. The only thing we don't have is P2P combat, and thank goodness. The idea is to learn things, not fight with one another.
    – Cody Gray
    Apr 14, 2011 at 13:58
  • I'm pretty sure we already have all of the things you're talking about and you're just not looking hard enough.
    – Welbog
    Apr 14, 2011 at 13:59
  • No point in attacking examples, sir! They are a means of conveying an insight/direction of thinking... I believe there is value in giving a different perspective on these things. After all thats what critics do don't they :)
    – Zasz
    Apr 14, 2011 at 14:00
  • Critics also "attack" things. At least in the gentle sort of way that I was "attacking" them. Some call this criticism, from the same root word as "critic". Anyway, the point is that there's plenty of incentive for people to participate already. We have the right balance of professional content and World of StackCraft (though to be fair, I've never played World of WarCraft in my life).
    – Cody Gray
    Apr 14, 2011 at 14:07
  • Sad: "This discussion does not add anything useful; having it present on the site is actively harmful because it distracts from other more useful questions. "
    – Zasz
    Apr 14, 2011 at 14:39

1 Answer 1


I +1 you only to get you of the minus zone, not because I agree that this should be implemented, but just because I think this is a nice idea and does not deserve a negative nor a positive vote count.

It is a nice idea indeed, but it's taking the whole thing to far. This is after all a professional platform, from professionals for professionals. One of the main concepts is simplicity, and this is what most people like about it. Adding this as an extension or even making it a main part of the network would destroy all this.

Many people are fighting for the acceptance of SE in their workplace/job, because it is one hell of a powerful tool to crack complicated problems, develop new ideas and fine tune applications. Adding a game aspect or turning it into a game would destroy these efforts all together and would render the network most likely useless in a professional field (as in: Nobody would take it seriously).

As I said, it is a nice idea indeed, but I can't see this working out.

  • 5
    "I +1 you only to get you of the minus zone." Pity voting. Enjoy your flag.
    – Welbog
    Apr 14, 2011 at 13:33
  • @Killbog: Flag? Did I miss a memo? Apr 14, 2011 at 13:42
  • 3
    Pity voting is always wrong. Kirby and I have motioned to have you banned forever.
    – Welbog
    Apr 14, 2011 at 13:47
  • @Killbog: Ah, yes. I agree on that (the pity voting thingy, not my eternal exile cough). But I did vote because I think it is a nice idea, it just wouldn't work or should be done/implemented. But I think it is a nice idea. Apr 14, 2011 at 13:53
  • 2
    If that's the case, then don't claim your vote was a pity vote. That way lies madness.
    – Welbog
    Apr 14, 2011 at 13:54
  • @Killbog: Better? Apr 14, 2011 at 14:01
  • 2
    Yes. But Kirby and I are still out for blood. (>'_')>
    – Welbog
    Apr 14, 2011 at 14:02
  • @Killbog: Well, I have no problem with that...as long as it is not my blood..you know, I like my blood, it's so red and warm and stuff...my heart beats for it. On second thought, I think I'll go have a look were I put those wooden sticks, if you'd excuse me for a moment... *runs.and.hides* Apr 14, 2011 at 14:13
  • 3
    Moderator mmyers used the "ban user forever" attack to banish Bobby to the fires of the nether world. Bobby defended with the magic shield of simple misunderstanding. 0 damage was dealt.
    – mmyers
    Apr 14, 2011 at 17:16

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