WHAT IS WORKCRAFT?
It is the Game of Creation: of the self, of an idea, of anything you can think of.
WorkCraft started as a completely different product than it is today. Back in 2007, it was a multiple profile system that promoted self-expression, intended for both professional and personal use. So people struggling with their sexual identity, for example, could have an easier time discovering themselves and communicating with both people that did and didn’t approve of their personal choices (sometimes you don’t know how to tell your family that you’re gay, but you may not want to remove them from your life). Or people that weren’t sure of what they wanted professionally could create profiles for more than one type of profession and explore each of the professional communities they were interested in (someone interested in developing a professional video-gaming career might think twice before sharing that fact with their lawyer coworkers).
But while comparing our models to Facebook’s, we realized that the most important thing the Internet was missing was a sense of community. No, we didn’t discount all of the beautiful communities that the Internet had already created – in fact, the seed of WorkCraft started from a pre-existing community known as Smashboards.com – rather, we realized that the communities themselves were disconnected. They didn’t know each other, and because of this they suffered from the same syndrome as Facebook: community members that knew only of their own community became fish in a small pond, not knowing, or flowing, with the rest of the world’s waters.
On the other end of the spectrum, we realized that many large communities became shout boxes, where everyone tried to show themselves off. Too often, they didn’t have a reason to celebrate themselves and each other, enjoying the fruits of their community. That’s not to say members weren’t helpful to each other, they definitely were, but information organization often wasn’t there. It seemed that there were quite a few problems with the idea of communities.
It wasn’t all negative though; we made a few wonderful discoveries: that being together promoted the spreading of ideas and helped to paint a fuller picture on issues that previously were one-sided; that when communities work together, most any problem can be accomplished; and when large groups of people celebrate something, it becomes a big deal, or at least a meme.
So we began figuring out ways to organize communities, and right off the bat we ran into a couple of issues:
1) The world has a lot of communities already, and a lot more have yet to even be created.
2) Communities like to talk, ask questions, and create a lot of information rather quickly. Without an archiving system, a rather strict protocol, and a well-coordinated, helpful staff, communities can become a mess really quickly.
3) Not all communities are created equal, but most of them want to grow, share themselves with the world, and generally show themselves off to anyone interested.
4) We needed to be able to have communities come together when they wanted to and still separate into their own unique community at other times.
So we realized that first, we’d need to organize communities according to interest, and do that in two levels: first into Umbrella Communities (like Art) and then into Niche Communities (like Ceramics). We also decided we needed Moderators and Teachers to make sure the communities could learn what they needed to learn, and to ensure we created a nurturing community of respect, so that regardless of the initial size of the community, interested members felt they were getting involved with something fun and attentive. Also, by creating a community where there were things to do and goals to reach, people would be more inclined to work together and have awesome things to talk about.
Finally, we realized that we wanted these communities, and perhaps even more importantly the individuals within these communities, to be successful. Being successful leads to the spreading of ideas, the creation of new, in time affordable, technologies and goods, and an improved quality of life. We realized that all communities that were sustainable, including one’s personal community, had 6 really important components: Education and creating a foundation for yourself (Earth), Creating something and showing off your skills (Fire; Fire is also about standing up for what you believe in, but more on that later), Networking and connecting with others (Water), Marketing and sharing your ideas (Wind), Creating and Being Aware of Resources and Community Sharing (Heart), and creating Sustainability that respects the Earth and communities we’re lucky enough to be a part of (Vessel). We realized if anyone used these concepts to create anything, and did it in their own unique way, they would be uniquely successfully, whether their goal was personal health, creating a business, or creating world change.
We also realized that resources would be necessary to fund the changes that people would create (Kickstarter knows this too—they’re amazing <3), and we figured out a way to get the resources (in a different way than Kickstarter; to read more about that, click here and find out more about Heart). What we thought was really cool was that we managed to make this idea a game. This game can, and will, happily fund your wildest dreams as long as you play by the rules and believe in yourself. To find out the rules and how to play, click here.
Also, there is a major technological feature for each Element. Each of these features will take time and resources to set up, so we’re taking them one at a time, our first project being Earth. To find out more about what creating Earth entails, please click here to go to Project Earth. Obviously the fact that all of the Element features aren’t available yet will make completing a professional/interest-based Element Cycle very difficult (though not at all impossible), but you can still earn Element Points that involve only personal effort and your personal community. To compensate for this hardship, those who participate in the Heart Campaign as soon as it is prepared will be invited to participate in exclusive contests with great prizes (no really, we’re making them as awesome as possible).
So that’s what WorkCraft is – a game that encourages personal and professional growth, that allows for multiple profiles if a member wants (of course we kept that ), and a place where everyone can feel welcome in a community of their interests. We hope you will participate and that all of your dreams come true through the work of your hands, your feet, your friends, your head, and your heart.