A Not So Great Urgent Evoke Experience

Mar 26, 2010
by: atorres

A few weeks ago, I became an agent in a global network of social innovators. Urgent EVOKE: A Crash Course in Saving the World opened on March 3, 2010. It’s a blog, a thinking cloud, and supposedly a game all in one. It was designed and is directed by Jane McGonigal for the World Bank Institute.

So far...

EVOKE has been open three to fours weeks and already has more than 13, 777 members. The game will last FOREVER (kidding, it'll end soon but it seems like forever), concluding on May 5, 2010, with a new quest and a new mission unlocked each week. In the first mission, agents were asked to be socially innovated by learning some secrets of social innovation, follow a leader, and imagine themselves in ten years when Alchemy calls. 

The first thing I looked at was this 90-second trailer: EVOKE trailer from Alchemy on Vimeo.

What I got from the trailer is that we are supposed to save Africa for ten missions in ten weeks. I think the places you will have to go include Mexico and Japan. I don't think I saw America involved.Overall, the advertisement was very persuasive, it made me want to play it, or at least see how it is. I wonder if this will actually help the countries of Africa, unless it is only wants to influence people to get off the computer and become active. "If you have a problem, and you can't solve it, evoke it." 

I like the way the story is presented, because comic books usually give the effect that it's an action type of event.

I just read a comic strip,"Episode One," from Urgent Evoke and I am a little disappointed, because the script and dialogue is poorly written.One line that stands out for me is: "The earth moves at different speeds depending on who you are."I think this is a powerful statement, because this is exactly how it feels. The earth will move slowly and won't progress if you don't start working for the Earth.There is a line which I disliked, "I guess I'd better tell my husband, I'm going to be late for dinner." Was that supposed to be funny? Even though I dislike the script, I somehow want to know if Africa is the dominant power at the moment and helps out struggling countries in ten years.

And now for Evoke's second comic episode. Who writes the dialogues? They are very cheesy and try to be witty. However, it was really cool that the professor made almost all of the roofs into planting areas. I have no idea what the mechanic did in the docks, or maybe I'm just a dunce.

What's with the secret identity? What happens when people start to know who the EVOKE people? It doesn't sound the least threatening. 

EVOKE Chapter 3.

It was really boring in some parts. I dislike the whole idea where EVOKE is a secret organization with secret agents. There's this guy who likes to investigate the true identities of the agents. I almost have no idea what the purpose is! One I especially loved is when a helper of one of the agents turned out to be selfish. He used the only windmill to turn one household's television on. Then the agent was worried because she didn't leave a name. However, she actually did. Saving the world is very cheesy.

What am I doing?

Each week, there is a Quest and Mission to finish. My favorite quest so far was the third one. This quest was to pick a holiday and figure out a way people who make and save energy, because I found out an awesome way to invent a tool to save energy the best way I think is possible. 

Each week's mission has three parts: learn, act, and imagine and so far I'm enjoying the imagine ones the most because it makes me feel useful when I do have a good idea. My best mission so far has been the third week, the one about saving energy. 

The "learn" part of this mission was to read from many websites about people who have began creating new ways on how to make energy. They introduced two people, and I found them to be the most interesting and craft people. As you can see in my blog post for this part of the mission, I learned that when you read about other people's accomplishments, it will make you become inspired and act on your own. 

The “act” part was to design an invention to conserve energy. Again, please take a look at my blog post. For this challenge I thought that it would be cool if the keyboard keys of a laptop can generate power to keep the laptop on. That way we won't have to rely on batteries. 

For “imagine” we were asked to think about what I'll be doing in the holidays as a way to think of energy. (Blog post) What I like most about what I put up was that I thought if everyone sings during the Christmas time, maybe everyone should be given a mic to sing into. This microphone can store energy and be plugged in to be used for anything. This made me think about how easy it was to come up with ideas. 

Final Thoughts

When I first started playing Evoke, I thought how tedious this will be for the next couple of months. Now, I'm wondering why am I still doing this game? What will I gain from after doing each and every mission and quest? There's nothing that evokes my interest. 

Some have even wondered if Evoke is a game. I think that sure, there are aspects where it does seem like a mind game, where you have to solve and figure out certain problems. However, there is a lack of motivation and incentives that make me want to solve the problems. Sure, there are powers and kudos to give to other players, but really I feel no need to actually earn those points. We watched a TED video in whichmes. Jane McGonigal explains her goals that have to be achieved through video games. Jane McGonigal on TED concluded that people can actually be confident more in games than in real life. Yet, I still don't how sitting on your tush all day and change anything. I mean, even if it were an educational game, how will it impact them to act? 

I am not looking forward to the next episodes of Evoke, because, to keep it short, it's not a game! In addition, it asks for too much hope in my imagination to do these blogs; and I just can't do it. Also, I don't understand the game's maker's goal in having us help the world by sitting in front of our computers and all we should do is type our ideas instead of acting on them.