Intervention: It’s just a virtual game-Xinyi Ren

by | Nov 11, 2021 | Artwork #3: Intervene, Projects

When I began to think about this intervention, The Jejune Institute I watched in class gave me some inspiration. I wanted to engage people in a kind of “weird” group activity. I chose the game Final Fantasy 14 as the basis. The process is like this. First, I recruit on the recruitment board and indicate that I hope someone can complete some of my strange requirements. I will pay them, but I don’t directly tell them what the specific requirements are. After players enter my team, I will put forward some strange requirements (usually embarrassing) to them. If they finish, they can get game currency in return. I conducted recruitment in the morning of three days (because my account is on the Chinese server, most players are active at this time). A total of no less than 21 players entered my team (a team of up to 8). In each test, players entered the team quickly, but most players said they join because of curiosity about requirements, and what attracted them was not reward.

I have made five requests:

Requirement 1: randomly find 10 Strange players to use emotional actions reward: 20W

Requirement 2: join in a random mission that has other players and quit immediately reward: 100W (no one completes)

Requirement 3: make no less than 5 stupid comments on the public channel reward: 30W

Requirement 4: take off all gears and dance in the main city for 5 minutes reward: 20W

Requirement 5: randomly find a strange player and chat with him for 3 minutes reward: 30W (no one completes)

Of the more than 20 players, only 3 successfully met my requirements and received remuneration (one of them completed tasks twice), while the other players said they just wanted to chat / thought the requirements were unreasonable / the requirements were very simple but did not complete them. It can be seen that players tend to choose activities that do not affect irrelevant personnel but reject activities that have a bad impact on others’ game experience (no one chooses the second item, even if it is very well paid, but this is a behavior despised in the player group). I think there are several reasons for this result. First, I didn’t directly show the requirements and remuneration in the recruitment, which made many players just curious and didn’t really want to participate. Secondly, players who choose to enter this “social recruitment” basically don’t spend a lot of gold coins in the game but care more about the social process, which also leads to their reluctance to destroy the game experience of unrelated players. In my imagination, it should be the reward that attracts players to the team, but in fact, it is their curiosity that drives them. This means that when curiosity is satisfied, they will not take the next step.