Reflection on Evoke
Three 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 is a social networking site where you can discuss and share ideas. It is also an online game. It was designed and is directed by Jane McGonigal for the World Bank Institute.
Sometimes beginnings aren't so simple
EVOKE has been open three weeks and already 13.802 members. The game will last 10 weeks, concluding on May 5th, 2010, with a new quest and a new mission unlocked each week. In the first mission agents were asked to review a bunch of "secret" for social innovation. My favorite secret is from Ethan Zuckerman's blog post in which he says: "What you have matters more than what you lack (If you’ve got a bicycle, consider what you can build based on that, rather than worrying about not having a car, a truck, a metal shop.)" I liked this particular secret because you should be concerned about how to use the resources that you have instead of worrying about things you don't have. You can make progress with finding out what and how the resource that you have can help you, instead of just wishing for the things you don't have and what you could have done.
The first thing I looked at was this 90-second trailer: EVOKE trailer from Alchemy on Vimeo. I thought the trailer was cool. It's a video about a game based on the issues and problems Africa is facing. It is up to us to help and save Africa because if we watched that video, we are destined. It doesn't matter who ever we are or where we are, if we watched it, we are destined to join in that game. I am looking forward to it. It should be interesting.
I like the way the story is presented, because every week there is a problem which we must solve. The game creates a global issue that has the potential to occur in reality. In fact most of these issues are already happening. In episode 1, there is a famine approaching the city of Tokyo. In fact it can spread to the other cities of Kytoto and Osaka. The governor of Tokyo alerts Alchemy, a super hero who has people under his command to save the world. Alchemy, a man who remains anonymous, sends people from throughout Africa to Japan to resolve the problem of food shortage. The governor asks Alchemy to please hurry, but the people are actually in Japan already. The episode ends saying to reserve a spot for this mission in this game.
What we do
Each week, players are supposed to come up with ideas and solutions for the most urgent social problems. My favorite quest so far was the second one. I liked it because I was supposed to write about my motivation. My motivation is Jeannie Lee, a beautiful young lady in my school. I wake up knowing that Jeannie is there in school waiting for me. I make the effort to come to school and work hard because Jeannie is right next to me and she always has high standardsl. I am also motivated by Mr. Paul Allison's teaching. He is an excellent teacher with a lot of experience. He is a brilliant mind who has taught me many cool operations on the computer.
Each week's mission has three parts: learn, act, and imagine and so far I'm enjoying the learn ones the most because I learn many new things. My best mission so far has been the second week, the one about food security. It was my longest post.
The "learn" part of this mission was to read a few articles and bookmark them. Here is a link to where I bookmarked articles: http://www.urgentevoke.com/profiles/blogs/bookmarked-articles
The “act” part was to initiate a public garden. I haven't done this. We have a garden right across from our school but I never go there.
For “imagine” we were asked to imagine what are meal would be in the year 2020. I haven't done this yet.
When I first started playing Evoke, I thought it was going to be an actual interactive video game. I was mad excited. When I found out it was something else, I was disappointed. It gets really boring. And since we have to do like 50 what's ups a week, its hard for me to "play" Evoke.
Some have even wondered if Evoke is a game. I think it is not exactly a game. It is something unique. More like a blog to share ideas. Like Youthvoices of Facebook. We watched a TED video in which Jane McGonigal spoke to us about the importance of games. I actually didn't pay attention to it.
I am looking forward to learning more about social issues in the world. However, I'm not a big fan of playing the game. But I have to in order to do well in class and win. Because if I don't do anything, I will lose the game. And I really don't like losing. I don't think anybody does, except maybe the New Jersey Nets.