Akoha is an interesting idea — one bound to run right up against the qualms of those folks who dislike using games for social engineering.
You buy a deck of cards for about $5. It has missions in it, like “buy a couple in love drinks,” “donate an hour of your time,” or “give someone a book.”
Once you do the good deed, you give the card to the reicipient of the good deed, and they “play it forward” — the mission is now theirs. They also go to the website and register the deed so that you get credited with points. You can track the movement of the cards across the world, kind of like how you can track dollar bills with Where’s George.
You gain points, you level up, and eventually you unlock perks like the ability to create your own missions — the plan is they will print your own custom deck of cards for you. Cory, here’s your whuffie.
If you look at their “learn more” link (engagingly done as a photocomic) you can see that they do envision this being mostly played among friends, although mention is made of strangers. In that sense, it is less a serious game than it is a social game, but the pay it forward element, should it offer enough incentives, has interesting potential. I could easily see something like this catching on among the sort of widely dispersed tech-savvy folks who make up the web and gaming communities…