At the centre of the forest is the white fortress and on the 1st September 2013, its wide gates will swing open for the first time. It will welcome in competitors from far and wide, trumpets will sound and Webland will witness the world’s largest gamification challenge ever.
So how do I, the average Joey with no real experience in this field, get there?
I walk to the edge of the forest and the ground is thick with the roots of the trees and bushes. I pick my way through the undergrowth, my steps clearing a short trail that is swallowed up immediately again behind me. As I search for sight of the white walls in the gaps between the trees, every nook seems to hold what might be the distant light of a clearing. I have no idea if I’m going in the right direction.
I close my eyes and picture again the tall walls and towers of the fortress. I see the four squared towers draped with multi-coloured flags fluttering in the breeze and the fortress shakes as if alive. But when I open my eyes again, the forest is dark and still around me and I know I must find someone to guide me.
A journey towards a challenge, to compete and a chance to learn from the masters in a field. I’ve heard the tale before in different ways old and new. It is a martial arts story.
For me, the one that still captures it best in Western films anyway is The Karate Kid. This 80s film follows the story of a bullied young boy as he learns from the loveable and quirky Mr Miyagi, handyman and secret karate master. Filled with clever quips and so many memorable scenes, it all culminates in one ridiculous, but wholly awesome karate bird kick.
Daniel: Hey, what kind of belt do you have?
Miyagi: Canvas. JC Penney, $3.98. You like?
Deep in the forest lies the dojos, temples or training rings of these masters and students of gamification. I seek out the voices that I hope will teach, challenge and inspire me. I wander to their doorways and here is who I choose to follow.
Cue the inspirational training montage.
So, progress towards my Follow 150 goals: 28 Gamification people and 9 organisations.