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Designing Quests

An OGM Quest is a project that has an envisioned goal. Quests are time-bounded, and require closer participation and more internal accountability.

Most Quests are external, meaning they cause change in the broader world, but some are internal, such as Free Jerry’s Brain and our choices of conversational platforms.

Quests may contain mini-Quests (which may not be the best name). For example, a Quest called Regenerating the Food System might include sub-Quests on hacking social support networks for farmers wanting to go regenerative, and hardware specs for open-source Soil Organic Matter meters.

Guilds, in contrast, are longstanding trades and crafts. Guild members participate in Quests, as they are moved to.

Really fruitful Quests may turn into new lines of business, new bodies of open-source code or big dents in world problems. That’s the goal.

Quests can choose how they prefer to communicate, but they are bound to report back to the main body of OGM with progress, as well as pointers to their conversations, so that others may join.

To this end, Quests run independently, setting up their own calls and tasks.

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Posts like this are helpful @Jerry, thank you!

Is “Regenerating the Food System” really a quest then? With due respect, is that going to be time-bounded?

I would like a role that indicates alignment with a quest, with the ability to pick up ad hoc tasks, with a lighter expectation of participation, but accountable for anything committed to. Maybe an Inner Circle and Outer Circle (or better names). The Outer Circle is more in learning mode and might participate in group meetings, but not the core Questers.

Which role would you like, self-assign, volunteer or most self-identify with? No strings attached, changeable/retirable at any time :slight_smile:

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In the domain of Regenerative Food System, I want to learn more and take action in my personal life for me and my family food choices.

For Bitcoin, I want to be a teacher and guide to others as they are interested.

For several topics, I want to be an explorer of “truthiness” (to use a Stephen Colbert phrase) – politics, environment, electric cars, health. These are very complex topics that are hard for many (including me) to get a “ground truth” on.

Whether those align to specific OGM roles (for me) remains to be seen!


So that sounds like there might be a need for topics/areas of interest or hashbin categories stored in/with the profile subscribable to get notified about news and quests and wants/needs/offers/requests. Maybe roles need to be somewhat extended too (learner/student/explorer, and the other role/function more of a teacher, coach, consultant, analyist, advisor, mentor, as you might not #RoleChampion a project of your own nor #RoleSteward the topic nor #RoleCurate material)? Would suspect you’re already involved with @Klaus if that’s of service/use/help for personal and family food choices, or if there’s a matching #RoleQuest to be started or ongoing.

You’re not proposing another collective #Quest or #QuestMini, per topic of this thread, apart from personal action/consideration, are you?

Don’t know if any of this makes sense, but if the roles and things don’t help with introducing more overview, matching/dispatch, awareness in the growing amount of activities, sources, updates etc., then I would wonder a bit about their usefulness/purpose.


Personally I think at this stage the roles might be seen less as “baskets” to put everyone in than as “straw men”. But, if they’re straw men they should be treated with some respect: if they’re kicked apart they can be rewoven into baskets after all!

Jerry can you frame Free Jerry’s Brain in a Quest? The definition of Quest as I found it is “a long or arduous search for something.” What is the search/time in Free Jerry’s Brain…and where does the collective come in when it comes to a quest.

Part of why I’m asking is because I find the word to be very masculine, very strong on the ‘going out and getting’ element, and am searching to find how it becomes a community, earth-based collective act, especially in such an ‘Earth-returning’ that we are in.

One thing I did find interesting in the eytmology of Quest is that it comes from a question. Maybe that’s a way to start. With a question.


Maybe interesting in this connection

If we want real change, we need to transform the contexts in which we all exist, and not simply who we think we are.

I have a copy, if anyone wants to co-read and discuss lmk.

Yes, @skreutzer and I were talking about something similar, imagining “Peer Overflow” in which we could ask and organize questions like this:

  1. How to make free software as engaging as World of Warcraft?
  2. How to organize to solve the world’s most pressing problems?
  3. How can we make a podcast?
  4. How can we make a new edition of this book…?

The clever thing would be to show the relationships between the questions, not necessarily to answer them.

Should you wish to dive into an abstract philosophical take on such issues, I recommend

I like this…I think using a question to start (once setting a proposed ‘how the world was’ to call out the need for change) is innately collaborative. Many sides and approaches.

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It’s a very technical Quest, likely for now mostly relevant for software developers. The Quest is related to the TheBrain software, and how knowledge can be represented in graphs, how to technically make such knowledge representations work. Main reason why this Quest is already well up and running for some time is that several OGM attendees are de-facto members of the “graph” Guild, also manifest in and the Canonical Debate Lab (apologies and please add whom I forgot), including some being Champions of a particular domain/approach. Therefore it’s very natural for these people to focus on how the knowledge in Jerry’s TheBrain repository might help with the collective sensemaking. Similarly, Jerry being an experienced power-user with building + curating such graphs, easy to connect with the Guild’s subject matter interest/alignment there.

Ironically, no capacity was invested to help with organizing profiles, Roles, Quests, Guilds, etc. :slight_smile: which unfortunately is very typical and not uncommon.


Another good one: - just be warned, is not complete/comprehensive, missing a few points, can be misleading, but an interesting general introduction to questions of game/community/activity design.

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Interesting, I like the comments section. I was talking with someone about the feeling that we get when we go to read in a library, maybe it is a bit similar. People aren’t there to read the same books, but there is still a sense of camaraderie.

In terms of “designing quests” to me, this suggests two themes:

  • Designing teams (which will be smaller than “everyone” in any case)
  • Designing experiences (which are typically had by one person, whether or not they are working in a team)