Use temporary chalk markings to publicly display community stories, data, or plans for improvement. Assemble a small force that can create the data paths throughout the city, encouraging residents to walk along them and explore new areas.
Ah yeah I love the hearts & stars idea! I'll let you know if I think of any other possible directions for the multiple happy endings idea and look forward to seeing what you come up with. It's certainly not easy, but I think you're on the right track! :)
Wow Ignasi, what a great concept you have here! I love the idea to use a game to connect youth and elders with a common goal! This is a really interesting direction because it feels like a mutual endeavor, where everyone is one team instead of one party ‘teaching’ and the other ‘learning.’
I agree with your assessment above that finding ways to motivate the young participants is critical. I actually make a lot of (analog) puzzles and games, so I thought I’d drop in a few ideas for motivating young participants:
1. Broadcasting story-driven achievements to friends: I’d say this is almost expected now from digital games! Just as you’ve pointed out that young ones will receive the reward of completing a game (which is a thrill on its own!) and the satisfaction of helping out another person, you can amplify this feeling of accomplishment by providing an easy way for young ones to broadcast these achievements to their networks! I’d say it’s more important here for the young ones to able to share the story of the connection (who they helped, who they found, their relationship, the happy ending they helped bring about) than the fact that they ‘completed a mission.’ It would be great to find a way to communicate the depth of these achievements, beyond a simple post that mirrors the “I beat this level in Candy Crush!” updates we’ve all seen on FB and Twitter. :) I’m not sure exactly what this looks like, but perhaps sharing photos of the elder or friend? Or sharing stories that the elder has provided about their friend? Something that invites empathy!
2. Building community with congratulations: It seems small but the ability to quickly reach out to another gamer and say “hey, great job!” goes a long way toward establishing a community. Something as simple as a “kudos” feature for completed missions or missions in progress can be a very powerful motivator. Think of how great it feels to see people applauding your openIDEO contributions! :) A little bit of that glow rubs off on the applause-giver as well. Just as you have already included stars to congratulate users for tangible progress, a kudos system allows other users to show their appreciation for hard work and intent, even if it has not yielded results.
3. Creating multiple paths to a happy ending: I do like Tracy’s idea of opening it up beyond just connecting elders with lost friends, as happy endings are a powerful motivator and unhappy endings (as when the friend has already passed away) can be really discouraging. But I see your point about refining a focused concept. I like Tracy’s “Find my Friend(s)” take! Another way to go could be connecting elders to others with shared experiences. This would broaden the missions beyond finding a specific individual or one of several people, to finding any person that, for example, grew up in the same neighborhood or city in the same time period. You could even use genealogical tools to connect elders with people that share a common heritage or are distantly related to them. This would keep the focus tight on connecting elders with others they wouldn’t have otherwise connected with, without the pre-requisite that they knew these people before.
(Related: I love the idea of clues over time! This really makes it feel like solving a mystery!! Finding people may take a lot of digging. That little boost of optimism when you receive a new clue can be a great motivator. You could also reward gamers that manage to find the friend before very many clues have been unlocked!)
A final note, and just something to think about: it might be interesting to find ways for young ones to communicate the tools, or record the ‘digital path’, they used to find the friend. In an ideal world, the elders could learn something from this process that would make using digital resources a little less daunting. Maybe a little outside the scope of this concept, but an interesting aspiration! :)
Keep up the good work! Can’t wait to see where this idea goes!