Pivoting Upward


“The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.”
— William Gibson

Today begins a new phase of Arcade City.

We’re expanding beyond rideshare to play a greater game.

We’re using the lessons learned from our first three years…

…to decentralize and disintermediate the entire corporatized “sharing economy” — along with large swathes of the global services economy — including verticals like ridesharing, homesharing, deliveries, caregiving, contracting, consulting, and even governance.

We foresee the end of the “Uber for X” business model, which until recently has reigned supreme in Silicon Valley and the global startup scene.

Say goodbye to cookie-cutter startups and fake ICO projects with gated marketplaces where users must use that company’s app or token to transact.

In a world of increasing choice and connection, thousands of tiny tyrants still attempt to monopolize your attention. They lure you into playing in their proprietary sandboxes cut off from the rest of the world. You’ve only recently noticed the needle they stick in your arm, sucking out your data as the lifeblood of the attention economy.

“The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads.”
— Jeff Hammerbacher, former Facebook data scientist

We have the power to exit those systems: to opt out from exploitative models and reconnect with our peers on a foundation of trust and integrity, using tools like encrypted messaging and cryptocurrencies.

But even now we are splintered and disconnected, separated into siloed projects or subcultures, perhaps accomplishing great work for ourselves and our neighbors — but with minimal impact on the broader world. Thus the great machinery of centralized, corporatized exploitation whirs on.

The missing piece, we believe, is a context for collaboration and interoperability between communities. A powerful reason why we all should connect across boundaries of geography, philosophy, culture, personality, background, or socioeconomic status.

What shared context can empower its participants to build a better world?

“You never change things by fighting against the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.”
— Buckminster Fuller

We don’t have all the answers.

Truth these days will not be heard from pulpits or prophets. It will emerge organically from coalescing communities as the human collective discovers itself.

We do think we’ve identified a way to organize that process of discovery.

Introducing the Realgame

We are about to play a game together: the game of a new world emerging.

We are inviting you to play a role in that game.

Your role is up to you to define, and can encompass many things.

To keep things simple, let’s say you choose one role to start. We’ll call this your primary class.

You select one of many player classes: rider or driver, or architect, artist, bard, bartender, biker, chef, cleric, constable, courier, crafter, educator, engineer, entrepreneur, fabricator, farmer, fighter, guide… and more.

Acting in that role you provide direct, peer-to-peer service to your community, either to citizens of Arcade City or of the world at large.

Because you have just added value to our network, you earn experience points.

When you earn enough experience, you level up.

As you level up, you gain a reputation for good service. You’re making a name for yourself. Your services are in greater demand.

You want help to provide such amazing service on a larger scale. You create a group of fellow players called a guild.

You can train guild members in your ways. Your guild might use a programmable smart contract to collect a percentage of revenue from a certain category of transactions, which feeds into a “rainy day” fund managed by the guild, like a decentralized form of insurance.

Now your guild levels up, too.

Imagine your high-level merchant guild forms an alliance with a high-level courier guild. Now you can offer to your customers real-world delivery of your products.

This is a game — with real-world integration and consequences.

It’s a new category for which we’ve coined the term realgame.

The realgame offers the freedom of peer-to-peer connection, communication and commerce to anyone in the world who chooses to play.

We hope you’ll play with us.

Moving Forward

For this expanded vision we have designed a lot, built a little.

What many teams do at this point is go behind closed doors, build a product with little to no transparency, release occasional progress updates, and ask you to wait and trust that the finished product will live up to the stated vision.

There’s a better way.

We will build all of the above in full public view, open-sourcing our code and integrating community feedback. We will encourage you — and incentivize you, using our Arcade Token and other rewards — to add your best efforts to help us design and build this.

We’ve launched this forum to organize discussion. You are welcome to create an account, make a post to introduce yourself, and jump into conversations. Share your ideas. Reading our wiki and our three-year retrospective is a good place to start. You can post a reply to this post or, after reading other posts until you earn trust level one, create a new thread.

This forum software is called Discourse. It offers excellent community management and reputation tools like trust levels that give increasing access and influence to top contributors. It’s perfect for organizing swarmwise.

We invite you to jump in and make this project yours.

Where we go from here is up to you.