Who Knows Someone ^2 ("Who knows someone who knows someone?") is a game of social networking. That is to say, to play, and "win", you must think about who you know and use it to make connections.
The concept is that people can fill out requests to be put in contact with subject matter experts, and include some personal information about who they are and why they want to be in contact with such as person. For example, an elementary school student, who wants to find a journalist they can interview for a Career Day report, an inventor who wants to get some basic information on contract law from a lawyer in their state, a Do-it-Yourselfer who wants to know how to safely replace a gas water heater, someone who wants to learn more about another culture or religion, and so on.
We all have areas of expertise, and we all know people who have widely diverse areas of their own. We can spread that feeling of helping someone else by not only helping people ourselves directly, but helping our friends and families help us and help someone else.
By scoring these requests by specificity (How much detail is needed?), rarity of experience (How hard is it to find someone with the required knowledge?), urgency (How soon must contact be made to resolve the request?), and complexity (How difficult will it be to convey the information?), you can allow players to rack up points - Find a veterinarian, by Monday, who has helped a sick or injured rabbit, and can explain it to a 6 year old - low specificity, high rarity, high urgency, medium complexity, 5000 points. Find an antique appraiser, no particular urgency, knowledgeable about 15th century European chamber pots, and can explain how to auction an item - high specificity, extreme rarity, very low urgency, high complexity, 13500 points. And so on.
You can allow players to answer requests themselves, or to refer (via the website or app.) to another party - For example, if I know someone who can help with a request, I can click the request, email them a form letter - "Your friend David Scott wants your help scoring points in Who Knows Someone ^2, the game that's all about spreading knowledge through social networking. He will get up to 2500 points, if you can help with...
(and here is a summary of the request.)
Click here to agree to help with this request!"
In filling out the requests, there would be spaces to include things like how to contact (Will an email exchange work? Is there a physical object that must be examined or fixed, requiring meeting in person? Will a Skype/Facetime call be better?), the reason that they are interested in speaking to that person, their location and timezone (if relevant.)
By tracking monthly scores, all time scores, and achievements ("One request fulfilled yourself!" "10 subject matter experts contacted!", etc.), you provide the gamified feedback. By helping someone, you get the positive feedback, and by being helped (when you make a request and your friend agrees to speak to the requester) you receive further positive feedback. And by spreading knowledge, we can make everyone's life a little better, because there is never enough knowledge...
What do you think? Would you play?
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