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Unlocked: a community-based achievement creator

A system that uses gamification and achievement badges in order to encourage young people to find different ways to solve challenges and that lets them create their own achievement tasks.

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Written by DeletedUser

Gamification is currently affecting a vast range of audiences, not only through game-dedicated communities like Steam, PSN and Xbox Live, but also through social websites and a great amount of apps. Having that in mind, the concept of Unlocked was born.

Unlocked is a system that focuses on suggesting real-life tasks for people who use it,and rewarding subsequently with Achievement Badges.

Just like with gaming achievements, each time a 'player' completes the tasks he receives a badge to pin on his personal (and virtual) Achievement Board. The player can also choose if the board is visible to others or if it is private.

The tasks would cover a great amount of different fields and activities and in various levels of complexity and difficulty, with challenges such as taking pictures, drawing, talking to people, visiting places, reading books and also others like composing music, recording videos and taking part in different events.

One of the most important parts would be the focus on finding creative ways to complete the challenges. People could finish the same task by taking different approaches. So if the task requires a video, for example, the player could record it with a camera, make a stop-motion animation, make a sequence of drawings and so on. The idea is to keep the challenges as open-ended as possible.

The starting point of Unlocked would be a smartphone/tablet app, since that would help on creating a community. After some time, a physical version could be designed by using the same challenge-and-achievement principles adapted to an offline project.

On top of that, the community would also be able to create and share their own Achievements and Challenges with other users, and the Achievement Board and notifications would be shareable through social networks.

In this challenge, we want to create ideas with young people, not for them. Outline how you’re planning to involve young people or other end-users (parents, teachers, etc) in designing, iterating or testing your idea during the Ideas phase.

The current young generation is day-by-day getting more and more involved on virtual activities, so a digital system that encourages them to produce and do stuff on the real world might be a good start. Also, since the challenges are all open-ended and focus on giving a creative response to the presented tasks, Unlocked could encourage them to try new approaches without the fear of failing for not using the 'standard procedure'. Giving young people the opportunity of creating their own challenges would also be vital to the growth of the community, as much as letting them give the tasks a try in their own interpretation. Also, the presence of parents, teachers and other professionals will certainly create a great number of well-thought challenges. People from different fields can create their own field-specific achievements and encourage people to try those different tasks even if they don't know much about that area.

How might you envision your idea spreading across geographies or cultures so that it inspires young people around the world to cultivate their creative confidence?

Since the virtual badges are pieces of data - easily modifiable - and the real life badges are thick tokens or cards printed on paper, it is simple to translate and disseminate Unlocked to other languages, and by the time a base community is established, a steadier flow of challenges can be idealized and shared by the participants. Also, the fact that Unlocked is composed of various different challenges and tasks make it perfect to spreading the idea worldwide, with different cultures contributing with different approaches to encourage people to do creative tasks. The badge system could also generate an ‘offline’, real-life set of badges, with their correspondent tasks written on the back. These could focus on different sets of challenges, based on specific skills like 'Arts' or 'Exploring the City', and could also be location-specific, thus focusing on the local resources for each task. Some of the real-life badges could come as blank templates, to encourage the creation of self-assigned challenges, in order to improve one's ability to understand their own limitations and to encourage them on surpassing these barriers.

What skills, input or guidance would you like to receive from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?

A project that plans to develop a community surrounding it will need the help of the whole community to be feasible, since the main set of achievements needs the input of a lot of different people to make sense. Also, the initial development of both the app and the physical badges would need support to be designed. Support could come as help with programming or graphic production on the interface of the system and the badges, but could expand to people helping by inviting people to the alpha and beta phases of Unlocked.


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Hi Mateus,

I find your concept very interesting, I like the idea of these open-ended challenges that involve young people day by day even through printed badges that reward the user "offline". Furthermore this hybrid achievement creator based on gamification both online and offline could really enhance creative confidence thanks to an intuitive platform, affordable by everyone. But the power of "unlocked" lies especially in the opportunity to interact to the real world, I would add the idea of creating real teams (groups of friends or kids and teachers) that can challenge each other even in a "duel mode". As a reward I was thinking about a bonus/discount to use/share together in the team (tickets for sport, theatre events, concert, gym, cinema, workshops). This could foster personal relations and future useful collaborations.

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