Sunday, March 1, 2009

Rankk the garden

What has a garden got to do with a challenge site? A lot, haha.

I have had that title in mind for quite a while, but hadn't got the inspiration to write anything. I suppose I caught the bug from Kender, who found inspiration to make a Javascript challenge for Rankk.

So what about the garden? Ah, certainly not because Rankk looks *beautiful*, though I think it does look quite attractive with the reddened Pyramid contrasting with the mostly darkened background.

No, not the appearance.

I was thinking about Rankk as a garden in having a variety of challenges and the process in which the variety was made possible, just like a garden has an assortment of plants and flowers and the process in which the assortment was acquired.

Imagine a garden where you're not just a passive admirer of the plants and flowers, but where you're allowed to bring in your own plants and orchids and put them in the garden so that other visitors can admire them.

Over time, instead of seeing only Oncidium orchids - the ones that live on trees and are the most common - you will also see rare orchids found only on rocky outposts and forest floors.

Wouldn't that be great?

This is what has been happening in Rankk. Sure, most players are quite happy to just solve the challenges and make the climb. And that's perfectly ok. After all, no one is expected to have to contribute any idea or challenge in order to play.

But Rankk has been lucky. There have been a few who have not only played the games exceptionally well but who have also introduced new and novel challenges to Rankk. To date, 69 of the 261 challenges were made of ideas and challenges contributed by Rankk's members. Consequently, there's a greater variety and depth in the challenges.

Ultimately, everyone gains. As caretakers of the "garden", we're rewarded with a sense of satisfaction seeing it grow and and prosper. As players of the site, the benefits are the greater variety and substance of the challenges.

Do you have a plant or flower of your own to offer to the world through the garden Rankk?