Looney Labs Rabbits Mailing list Archive

RE: [Rabbits] Rabbit Only Items in Dangling Carrot (was Re: Gray 'mids?)

  • From"Seth Ruskin" <rathorne@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateFri, 26 Jan 2007 19:20:04 -0500

From: Marc Hartstein <marc.hartstein@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Reply-To: Rabbits Discussion List <rabbits@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: rabbits@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [Rabbits] Rabbit Only Items in Dangling Carrot (was Re: Gray 'mids?)
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2007 14:45:55 -0500

You've sort of answered my question and sort of haven't.  I think what
I'm looking for is why it's "you must have at least one Rabbit Point"
rather than "you must be a registered Rabbit".  Is this to encourage
Rabbits to go out and do more demos and such?

Yes it is. Demo Rabbits run Demos. If you're not running the demos (or doing projects) to promote their games, then you're not earning the privlege of getting the special items you might want.

Maybe I should just make my point, and then it will be clear what I'm
driving at with my question:

I think the current setup has some unintended (and unfortunate)
consequences, which turns the whole Rabbit Point thing into a sort of
game in its own right, and not a particularly fun one.  The issue is
that Rabbits have three potentially limited resources: money, Rabbit
Points, and time.  Rabbit Points and money can be substituted for one
another at 1 point:USD 1 with some restrictions.  At the time I choose
to make a purchase, I need to decide how many of my Rabbit Points I want
to allocate to it (with a minimum if I'm ordering from the Dangling
Carrot), and how many I want to hold in reserve to be able to make
future Dangling Carrot purchases.  If both money and Points are in low
supply for me, this can be a tricky decision.  Here's an example:

<snipped example about wanting two bing rewards when you either haven't done enough to warrant two big rewards or have already collected some small rewards. Added in is that you don't have the money to cover the cost of what you haven't earned yet>

It's a contrived example, sure.  Of course it is.  But I've definitely
been confronted with the "I want to buy this item from the Dangling
Carrot, and I'd like to pay mostly in points so it doesn't hit the
wallet so hard, but how many points do I need to keep aside for future
Carrot purchases?" question, and I'm sure other Rabbits here have as
well.  Points may be easy to get, but it's not always predictable when
you'll get another opportunity.

I've been faced with this, and I recognize that points are things I need to earn. If I haven't earned them (or spent them on other things) then I don't get the cool new stuff or the big shinies until I earn more. The points represent how much the company is willing to reward me for what I've done. If I don't have enough for the reward I want, then I need to do more. And use some willpower to delay my satisfaction.

I have two suggestions for alternate ways of doing this which I think
would preserve your goals, but remove the weird meta-game:

1. Only registered Rabbits may purchase items with prices listed in
points.  Any portion up to and including the full price may be paid for
in cash ($1 = 1 point).  This preserves some of the "this stuff is only
for people who are dedicated fans" aspect, but loses some of the "you
need to keep being dedicated to keep buying the stuff" aspect.  It has
the advantage of simplicity.

So you register and send in a bio and you don't have to do anything else... ever. Big reward for small effort. Defeats the purpose of the system in any form. Don't like it. I prefer the reward to match the effort you put in (and spending cash to cover the remaining cost is an effort, as you're delaying your gratification on getting something else to get the DC item). Makes the reward mean something.

2. To purchase an item with a price in points, your Total Points Earned
must be greater than the number of items with a price in points you have
ever purchased.  You could think of it this way, or as there being two
kinds of points (discount points and stuff points), where one kind
reduces the cost of items with the carrot symbol, and the other allows
you to buy items with a cost listed in points.  It's the same thing,
really.  You spend exactly one "stuff point" on an item with a point
cost, and use "discount points" to pay for some or all of the cost.
It's also sort of like letting people always spend only one Rabbit point
on each item they buy, while letting them pay for as much of the cost in
points or dollars as they wish.

And that kills the IOU system, which I rely heavily on. When I demo at conventions, I spend as many points as I can on "demo items" (pamphlets, demo stickers, 25 packs of promo cards, micro catalogs, flowers etc). For some of these items, I'll get reimbursed for the points I spent on them. So my total number of items I've received will end up being greater than the points I've ever earned, as the reimbursed points are not additional points, they just become unspent.

So what I'm looking to find out is what the specific goals are for which
the current system has been engineered.  Is what I'm perceiving as a
flaw actually an intended feature?  (It does result in more money,
rather than points, being spent on point items.)  Is there an intended
feature in the current system which one or both of my suggestions would

It's intended, and you're also apparently missing the point of a reward. I deal with doling out rewards daily in my job and I've found two truths:

1) Rewards become meaningless if you don't have to do anything to earn them (which your number 1 example would cause). 2) The more you have to do to get a reward, the more meaningful it is (which is the point of the system). 3) Big rewards work best if you get them for doing big things and/or for delaying your gratification by passing up smaller rewards (which is also is the point of the system)

And, yes, to anybody who's read this far and is wondering, this issue
*has* resulted in my choosing not to obtain items from the Dangling
Carrot which I otherwise might have, choosing to conserve my points for
future purchases.  (I was in a phase when money was very scarce, but
expected to become much less so in the future, so I could have bought
something then for points, and another thing later for money, except for
the wanting to keep points on hand for later.)

No offense intended, but the solution is to find the time to do demos or projects to earn points or accept that you can't get the reward that you want until you do more. It's a reward program, after all.

If you go to school, set aside a planned study break time where you can go to your FLGS and demo.

If you have a job, plan for a mental health day (vacation/personal day) where you unstress by playing games with people (aka demoing games at your FLGS)

Don't have the time to plan? See if there's any local Rabbits who want to split the effort.

I personally plan on 2 long weekends a year (Thurs - Mon or even Fri - Sun) where I attend a convention to demo games. I usually run enough events to get in for free, so I only have to save up money for food and hotel space (if needed. One convention I crash at a friend's place). If I need more points (or I get a request and have the time or I just need a day playing games before I crack), I talk to my FLGS owner and set up a demo day.

Yours in Rabbitiness,
Seth Ruskin
aka GnTar, the evil teddy bear Rabbit

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