Gaming for the Greater Good

I don’t play video games or Facebook games and I fail repeatedly in my attempt to save the bluefin tuna on the Tuna in Trouble iphone app that my kids instantly mastered. So it was with some hesitation that I dipped my toes into the gaming waters to try out Yoxi (yo-see), a casual yet fairly complex online strategy game with a strong social component that allows registered players influence the outcome of teams competing to solve some of our societies biggest issues.

The first Challenge is how to Reinvent Fast Food and I was both curious and circumspect about anyone’s ability to tackle this massive issue. After viewing the videos submitted by 10 Round 1 teams, I picked my horse, Team Lunch Time out of New Haven, and really thought I’d stick with it. We’re now at Round 2, with 6 teams remaining, and after midnight tonight, only 2 will go on to the final competition. After viewing  Round 2 videos, I fell in love with and cast my vote for The Beet Squad’s solution: Foodsurge: A Group-based Daily Deal to Create the Fast Food Options We Want. Take a look and let me know what you think. Better yet, become a registered player and vote yourself, but do so before midnight tonight if you want to influence the outcome of  Round 2.

Check out the comments of celebrity judges Michel Nischan, Marion Nestle and Christina Minardi and those of other players to get an instant feel for where things stand. Round 3 begins on December 1 and promises to raise the entertainment level up a notch as each team receives $5,000 and the assistance of an ad agency to sell their idea via a 30 second promotional video.

The winning team will receive up to $40,000 in micro financing plus other continued support from Yoxi and industry experts as they work to implement their winning solution to the Challenge of Reinventing Fast Food. Yoxi is a project of TTSL, a private grant making organization clearly committed to social entrepreneurship. Even after this competition ends, there is a long queue of social issues waiting to be tackled by starry eyed teams on Yoxi, and since players’ unused points are banked and rolled over, I’ll be seeing you on Yoxi.

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