Introduction to VOG: The Game
When I was a kid, I was one of those few kids who knew exactly what they wanted to be when they grew up, and it seemed like a realistic goal. I didn't dream of being the star Quarterback, the lead singer in a rock band, or a famous Hollywood actor. I had a dream that I thought I was going to be able to achieve: I wanted to be a video game programmer.
Now, obviously, things didn't turn out that way. By day, I code websites that are primarily used in the real estate industry, and on the weekends I host a podcast about video games. While I was just able to say "code" and "video games" in the same sentence, it really doesn't fulfill that childhood ambition. So, I have to try to fulfill it in my own way.
And that's where you come in. You're now the player in my first ever released game - this website. I used the skills I learned writing websites for businesses and added gamification elements (that's the buzzword, y'all) of score, points, and loot. The idea is that it will hopefully encourage people to participate in ALL of the content here at VOG, and reward those who do.
What's In Right Now
The version of VOG: The Game launched on June 1, 2012 is pretty bare bones. There isn't much in the way of point scoring opportunities, and so far there's still only one piece of loot, and everyone receives it when they first log into the site. You gain points by creating and contributing conversation to the stories on our site - both articles and podcast episodes. But note - this doesn't mean just posting, because you don't get any points for merely posting to an article. (This prevents people from merely spamming posts.) You get points for good comments that people either like, or people repsond to - so really, your points are determined by other members of the community.
You can also "check in" to shows on the network. When a show is live, you'll notice that the site looks slightly different, and will point you to our "live" page. On this page, you will see an area where you can "check in" to the show that's currently on - netting you five points.
Soon (in the next few weeks), we will be implementing this same system for members of our podcast network who wish to participate. In this case, the site will have a random noun generated that the podcast producer will say somewhere in the middle of their episode. If you type that noun into our checkin box (location to be determined later) while that episode is still the most recent episode - it's five points for you.
Soon, we're going to have more interactive elements to our text content - such as a place where you can rank things after our staff writer has laid out the options. We will be implementing more interactive elements to our live programming (such as Listless from Orange Lounge Radio.) There will be more loot throughout the site, but I'm not going to tell you where.
And if you have any ideas of what type of thing you may want to see implemented, please let us know on the VOG: The Game Subforum on the official VOG forums. You will also see there a call for submissions of loot items - and you'll even get points if someone gets your piece of loot that you designed! Speaking of the forums...
Will My Forum Posts Count?
Not in real time - this is more a technical issue and not wanting to make upgrading our forum software a hassle. But, I wouldn't be surprised if, down the line, you stumble across some loot tied to forum participation...
What Do I Get For Winning?
We are not providing non-site rewards (free games, gift cards, etc) because this is a beta work in progress, and is probably going to get exploited. One thing you learn about games is that the players will ALWAYS think of ways to break things that you hadn't thought of. I've actually already thought of several exploits, but I'm not sharing them. The leaderboard DOES reset each month (at midnight Pacific time) but your loot will always stay with you.
Also, realize that we can revoke points and loot at any time. For balance. And Science.
Anyway, thanks for being beta participants in VOG: The Game - we hope to create some very interesting interactive experiences within the scope of a content media network - some stuff that you might not have seen presented in this way. And, no matter what the header image says, you haven't lost...yet.