At Penguicon, attendees can sign up at the convention to earn rewards by doing simple things like carrying boxes, guarding doors, or changing DVDs. We think it would be cool to create a record of that for your permanent positive reputation. It's called "Whuffie" -- a term from Cory Doctorow's science fiction novel Down And Out In The Magic Kingdom. It's a unit of measure in a reputation economy.
A currency system will increase volunteerism by letting volunteers maximize its value to them based on their circumstances and what they need help with. I'm designing a Whuffie currency printed on marbled cardstock. The bills will picture this year's Guests of Honor. The attendance badges and currency will use a barcode system to track individual work throughout multiple years.
One Whuffie = 1 hour of work. (Loading and unloading the moving truck, and any work done setting up beforehand and breaking down afterward earns 1.5 Whuffie per hour.) Each concom person who needs volunteers gets an amount of Whuffie currency to distribute, according to the volunteerism hours they expect to need filled. It is against the rules for concom to spend it themselves, give it to non-volunteers, or use it for any other non-intended purpose. But they can give bonuses for those who do an awesome job.
Here's a menu of things we intend to offer. We reserve the right to adjust it at the convention.
- Redeem 1 Whuffie to Tracy Worcester, Anna Petrak, or the convention Operations desk, per night of crash space, at the time of access to a hotel room shared among volunteers. There is one room for men and one room for women. Bring your own sleeping bag.
- Redeem 1 Whuffie to Jer Lance on Saturday or Sunday morning to jump to the head of the line for free pancakes and eggs.
- Redeem 1 Whuffie with Chuck Child for a plate of Brazilian Beef during a scheduled serving on Saturday afternoon. No reimbursements; if you already registered for it, this is redeemed to be served seconds.
- Redeem 1 Whuffie with MythLogic for 1 hour of play on one of their LAN party rental stations.
- Redeem 2 Whuffie with Jessica Zerwas on Sunday for reimbursement of your 2008 LAN party weekend-admission wristband.
- Redeem 3 Whuffie in the dealer room for a Penguicon 2008 t-shirt.
- Redeem 3 Whuffie to Aaron Thul on Sunday for a free weekend seat at Penguicon's MPCon LAN party 2009. This is the first opportunity to get on the list, to guarantee your seat.
- Redeem 4 Whuffie with Aaron Thul on Sunday for a free registration to Penguicon 2009.
- Redeem 5 Whuffie with Jessica Zerwas on Sunday for reimbursement of your 2008 convention badge, if the convention broke even.