BOF Proposal: Competition and/or Achievements in Snap!?

  • Significance and Relevance of the Topic: This is a continuation of the discussion at this talk about whether the user experience would be improved by game-like social features. We expect some controversy. :~)

  • Expected Audience: Game players, Snap! developers, people with opinions about social media.

  • Discussion Leader(s): @bh, hopefully also @silverdragon1353 whose talk started the conversation.

  • Expertise of Discussion Leader(s): One of us is a Snap! expert and the other a Minecraft expert. :~)

  • Proposed Activity during BOF: Discussion of the motivating and demotivating aspects of gamification.

I can't make a decision because I can't access the talk.

Fixed the link. :slight_smile: A Minecraft Nerd's Take on What Snap! Can Learn From Minecraft Snap!Con 2021

I support, who actually adds BOF proposals to Snap!Con?

There's a steering committee. All the usual suspects, more or less.

What even are Birds of a feather?

Sessions organized just before or during the conference, for people to get together ("birds of a feather flock together") to discuss a topic of mutual interest. As opposed to sessions at which someone is presenting something to an audience.

Welp, did this BOF make it to Snap!Con?

Yup. It was an interesting discussion. What came out of it is that we're thinking of doing a small experiment, despite being doubtful of the whole idea.


Discourse doesn't like all caps.

No, darning would be at the TurtleStitch BOF. :~)

I was kind of surprised you didn't, after asking about it!

maybe we should add the collaboration part before we think about competition

the only way to collaborate with other snap creators is by using netsblox ( you can edit the xml of a project. so it can be imported to both of the websites)

Yeah, I agree.

So far it's only one badge and no competitions that we're thinking about. If by collaboration you mean two people editing the same project at the same time, that's probably a long time away, although we agree in principle.

All of this is lower priority than teacher and student accounts...

  1. A moderator will post five different games or animations(e.g. Chrome no internet dino run game, tetris, space shooter) that will be the topic for the month's competition.

  2. Users will vote for one of the five topics.

  3. The topic with the highest number of votes will become the next month's competition topic.

  4. Users will have three weeks to add a project to the competition(Users can only add one project.).

  5. On the fourth week of the month, users can "volunteer" to select the winning projects.

  6. When a user volunteers, they select three projects, a gold, a sliver, and a bronze(They also add a reason why they picked each project.)(You can't pick your own project.) Also, this will be done on the community site(so people can't see it.)

  7. A moderator will use a random number generator to find the volunteer who will pick the winning projects.

  8. A moderator will make sure that the volunteer's picks are fair.(no favoritism)

  9. The winner will get a badge if they won, the winners would also get featured on the forum for the rest of the next month.

Umm. How do I put this.

The issue isn't that we can't figure out how to run a competition. The issue is that most of us (the staff) think that the whole idea of competitions is poisonous to community.

We're not enthusiastic about badges, either, but willing to experiment in a small way to see if we can use them in a non-harmful way. The idea is to badge projects (not users) that use higher order functions. So it'd look something like this:

(Note: I just threw this together in Photoshop quickly; it's not a promise about the design.)

The advantage of this particular experiment is that it can be automated; when you publish a project we can have a program scan it for blocks with inputs of type Reporter. By badging specific projects rather than users we're hoping it'll be less of a status thing, but just a tiny nudge in the direction of learning to use HOFs. And of course it doesn't have winners and losers.

Article from the NY Times about Japanese athletes apologizing in tears because they only got a silver medal:

That's what we don't want.

Another thing about this particular experiment is that it'll be easy to cheat (just throw a HOF in your project that isn't actually used). We can compare the extent to which we get people learning to use HOFs vs. the extent to which we train people to cheat. (So, we won't even try to prevent cheating.)

P.S. As I said before, there are a bunch of projects more urgent than this, so don't hold your breath.

What would the badges be about?

What are


Functions that call other functions, usually reified ones.