[An Experiment] Pay for games with purposeful acts of social good.

edited August 2011 in Directed Promotion
So, as context: I think capitalism is sort of awful, and for months I've been wondering about how to offer my games in exchange for something other than money. Offering my work for free isn't... jiving with me, for some reason. I think that I put too many hours into these projects to just throw them to the masses without any validating return on exchange. Or something? It's cool for others to do so, but I'm not there right now. Anyways, cool idea:

I'm going to try offering people a new way to obtain my games without buying them or stealing them. It is this: do purposeful acts of social good, tell me about those purposeful acts of social good, and then you get the game. I'm going to start this experiment with two PDFs, as I face zero risk in doing so.

The two PDFs on the table right now are:

Perfect Unrevised
Perfect, Unrevised is a game about criminals within a Dystopian society. It’s about what makes them tick, the crimes they commit, the goals they strive for, and the persecution they may well face. It's a game with distributed GMing (similar in this regard to Shock: or Polaris). It is quite procedural, and quite focused. You get to be an awesome arsonist with a message, or an insomniac murderer plagued by their own nature, or a forbidden lover.

AW: The Grotesque
A new Apocalypse World playbook that I wrote. It was workshopped with Johnstone, who's really good at workshopping Apocalypse World design stuff. You are a mutant, a physical mirror for the maelstorm and the apocalypse. You are unpredictable and alien, but you also have something good to offer the community that accepts you. Oh, and you can have nested drones or retractable claws or you can produce food spores.

"Purposeful acts of social good" is a pretty abstract currency to be working in, obviously. So I'll just paint a picture of roughly what I envision, and then whatever you do will be correct. Perfect Unrevised is worth about 3 of these acts of good, and The Grotesque is worth 1.
  • Baking bran muffins for everyone on your block/in your apartment building.
  • Offering to walk your over-burdened neighbor's dog once a week.
  • Volunteer to do an hour of work at a community co-op radio station.
  • Donating ten dollars to a worthy charity.
  • Organizing a story games club for a local middle school.
  • Spending an hour walking around downtown telling strangers about how they're beautiful.
  • Give a ride to a hitch-hiker, and go out of your way to deliver them to their destination.
  • Spend half an hour cleaning up garbage in a local park.
  • Do something subversive that provokes thoughtful discussion about the world we live in.
Once you've completed your purposeful acts of social good, email me at mcdaldno. That's a gmail address. And I'll hook you up with your PDF.

It should be stuff you weren't planning to do already, if there's a distinction. Go out of your way and do good, and that's how you can pay for Perfect or The Grotesque. If this works, I'll open the stage up for all my games, print and digital, maybe.

Comments

  • This is awesome. I think I'll have to do it just on principle.
  • Interesting, given the recent acts of destruction and terror in England by anti-capitalistic youths, your timing for Perfect is either tragic or umm... perfect. :-)
    --
    TAZ
  • Todd,

    Those examples of violence in London have been provoking a lot of thought for me, about oppression and despair and living by one's values. Capitalism stands in contrast to my values, and participating in a broken machine seems less and less like something I can do with integrity. And so I continue my efforts to move away from that, and this experiment is part of that.

    So, the timing is because these things aren't far apart in my mind.
  • Joe is turning into a good version of The Man from "The Booth at the End". Interesting!
  • Posted By: McdaldnoSpending an hour walking around downtown telling strangers about how they're beautiful.
    Be careful not to get confused here:

    Don't do this one while dressed as The Grotesque from Apocalypse World.

    And especially avoid mentioning your 'nested spores'.

    Otherwise, awesome idea! If we think of another purposeful act of social good, should we post it here for you, or is this an exclusive list?
  • Posted By: Paul T.Otherwise, awesome idea! If we think of another purposeful act of social good, should we post it here for you, or is this an exclusive list?
    Paul,

    That list was, like, an example list. To get people on the same page, more or less.

    I'd be tickled to have everyone brainstorm purposeful acts of social good. Please, do!
  • Yesterday, I got an email stating:
    Your post made me think about this thing that I was already thinking about doing, but for all those reasons that people never do those good things they think about doing, I wasn't doing it. But now I will do it. Here it is: There's a couple who live in my neighbourhood who have been broken into several times, but there's not a lot they can do about it on their own other than repair the damage. They have a fence, but no gate. Turns out that I am a metal fabricator. So, now I plan to build these nice people a security gate. For free.
    So: this project is winning.


    I've also decided to do something new with cash money sales, too. For each direct sale of Perfect, I'm going to donate $5 to PEN Canada. They're a charitable organization who, in their words, "works on behalf of writers, at home and abroad, who have been forced into silence for writing the truth as they see it."

    I'm going to do the same for Monsterhearts when it's released, donating some dollars to a charity that does outreach and advocacy for queer youth. Maybe the It Gets Better project.
  • Hi Joe,

    I haven't managed anything wonderful yet BUT, yesterday I thought about helping two strangers on their commute because of your idea. I didn't help them, because I got really, really shy at the last minute. But I'm on the cusp. Right there, teetering on that invisible cusp. Weeeeeee.
  • I love the idea. But being the dark little rules-lawyer I am, I can't help to ask: are you going to just accept people's tales of their acts of good, or require some kind of proof?
  • Great idea!
  • Posted By: Mr.MarioI love the idea. But being the dark little rules-lawyer I am, I can't help to ask: are you going to just accept people's tales of their acts of good, or require some kind of proof?
    I am going to trust people.

    It's been my experience in life, that when you charge dollars and impose security measures, people want to cheat the system.
    When you say "pay in purposeful acts of social good," and you use the honor system, people don't want to cheat the system.
    Posted By: SebastianI haven't managed anything wonderful yet BUT, yesterday I thought about helping two strangers on their commute because of your idea. I didn't help them, because I got really, really shy at the last minute. But I'm on the cusp. Right there, teetering on that invisible cusp. Weeeeeee.
    Do it! Do it!

    Are you talking about carpooling? Or some other strategy that reduces carbon emissions?
    If so, this will make your awesomeness glow.
  • My room-mate recently had a baby, and no longer has the time to volunteer for Food Not Bombs. So I told him that I'd take over for him. Today I baked an apricot cobbler with the other volunteers and fed a couple dozen people. It was a lot of fun.

    Does that count?
  • Orion,

    That absolutely counts as a purposeful act of social good. One of the guidelines for trading those acts in for games is that it should be something you weren't planning to do already - the idea is to create new good in the world, not to simply back-pat ourselves for what we already do.

    I ultimately don't want to be an arbiter on what counts and what doesn't. If you think it counts, email me and ask for the thing you want.
  • Joe -

    Thank you for proposing this. My email has been sent, and you've inspired thoughts of purposeful creativity for just this reason.

    Paul.

  • Some exciting acts of social good that people have submitted for the Grotesque playbook:

    *Someone baked 100 muffins and distributed them to strangers on their campus.
    *Someone donated $100 to the American Cancer Society.
  • edited September 2011
    In two weeks we're going to have GnoccoCON, here in Italy. It's just a tiny convention, we're going to be about 50 gamers, it's rather informal and we usually just care to prepare tables so people can play their hearts out, and make a deal with the trattoria next door to keep everyone well fed, and we don't ask anything in return.

    This year we've been a little more ambitious, and thought, instead of asking no money, let's sell some t-shirt and pins, and use the revenue to help build a new wing of the local hospital for newborn children and their mothers.

    Would it be okay for you, Joe, if we gave a print of the Grotesque to anyone helping us donate 10$? Or you'd like us to do it differently?

    - Edit: I've been explained the project better, sorry for the mixup. -
  • I'd love for The Grotesque to be used for that cause! Email me and I'll hook you up with a copy to print! My address is my last name, at gmail.
  • Email sent. Thank you. :)
  • I donate 100 Reais for Wikipedia.
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