Hey Jon, Sommer and the Compassion Games team. I'm such a huge fan and in some ways expanding the project might need to address some of the reasons I haven't been able to actively participate. One of the biggest challenges is modern life is super busy. Finding the time to do anything "big" is often overwhelming especially when it comes to trying to organize groups. (More on that later.) So I think one key might be making mini-challenges which could be done on just one day/any day of the bigger event. I can't help feeling that the events seem a bit overwhelming to people. You're dealing in an area of big changes in how people are currently socializing (or not) and to introduce them to the joy of being compassionate it might need simpler activities. Perhaps this could be something which could be introduced for the time between the big games. By creating a small actions which people can do at any time they can get involved without the overwhelming sensation of joining something spread out over several days.
As you know I ran into challenges when I tried to organize teams here so I think organizational tools are very helpful. Honestly, I found signing up and creating teams a little confusing. That may be my ignorance, but figuring out a way to allow people to join teams locally without knowing the organizer could be helpful. This will of course become easier as the games get more followers worldwide and people understand the joy and excitement of participating. Getting organizations, schools, businesses involved in different cities will also be a big part of spreading awareness and making team formation and action easier.
I recently completed a course in Gamification from the Wharton School of Economics on Coursera.org. I highly recommend it as I think there are quite a few things which you can do to drive excitement and engagement in terms of using game tools and being aware of some of the pitfalls of social impact gamification. For example breaking down leaderboards in many ways could help people get excited...giving them more opportunity to "leaders," and have views where you can see those around you both in terms of "points" and geography/type of project gives people more sense of the game...and opportunity to excel rather than just comparing themselves to top leaders or the big picture of the project.
There are real concerns about these types of projects (mine own included) and for me the two most important ones are: safety and competition.
On safety my own feeling is the world is facing real problems which are putting us all at risk. If we don't take the chance to show compassion and turn the social structure around our societies and planet could face dire consequences. I believe the answer is educating people, especially the young, on how to interact socially, especially with strangers and how to take steps to stay safe. We need to be honest there is no such thing as being 100% safe. We take risks all the time. One of the biggest...getting into motor vehicles...we do with little thought that our chances of death or disability are much higher than doing most other activities in the world. We need to take some risks if we're going to change the world...and the joy of helping others is truly worth it.
When I first heard about the compassion games I really liked the idea of Coopetitions, but I'm very interested in how that idea can be used in a way which reduces the competitive spirit the most. This might seem like a radical, or even insane idea, especially to those who feel our competitive spirits are primeval, natural, key to our survival, but I'm convinced it is the sense that we need to prove to others we are somehow "better" which is causing most of the world's problems. It may be that coopetition is a necessary stepping stone to a totally cooperative society, but I hope to be highly aware of this and see how to err on the side of cooperation. This is a real difficult issue and I've been struggling with it for the work we've been doing.
I wish you all the best. I really hope to find the time and energy to participate. If there's anything I can do to help please let me know. Go Compassion Games!!!