We understand that there has been a bit of confusion, and maybe even a little frustration with the Landmark voting process. There were a number of well thought out comments that were critical of our approach to determining which properties become Landmarks in San Francisco, that deserve to be addressed.
We’d like to clear up a few important concepts that will help everyone better understand how we arrived at the voting mechanism.
1. The complicated issues of voting highlights the issue of fully decentralized games. A variable amount of central planning is necessary to ensure that we’re on the same page with the digital world we’re all building together. In this case, we didn’t select Landmarks in advance of the properties being purchased, and thus we decided it was more fair to let the citizens decide.
2. A certain amount of “unfairness” is inevitable in any market or democratic system, but let’s look at the alternative to voting. If we had selected every Landmark, then there would inevitably be complaints about who’s property we picked and why. Landmark voting is a practice in partial self-governance. Which is something we need to work together to refine.
3. While the winning properties that become Landmarks must look like their real world counterparts (the upland team will be providing the 3D models), in the future, there will be mechanics that will allow a player to construct a building that looks like the real world counterpart of the building on their property. We believe in promoting individual autonomy in Upland, allowing people to express themselves creatively through the Upland platform, but if the market and community incentivize the development of landmark-like buildings, it will happen.
4. In Upland, we advocate for “rebuilding the world”, not replicating the world. It’s impossible to include every property that the Upland community would consider a landmark. We need to balance the “rebuilding” with what makes a city unique. It’s a tough balance, and we have taken measures to reserve specific special SF properties in addition to the 15 being voted on, ensuring SF will always be an iconic city in Upland, with a connection to it’s real world counterpart.
5. In the future, we will explore ways for local communities to self govern within a neighborhood, giving them autonomy over some decisions that can affect the landscape of their neighborhood.
6. We understand that the Voter Badge has added some complexity to how players approach navigating Upland (and specifically treasure hunts) until voting is over. We chose to award a badge to players that carefully express restraint in order to make the voting process more interesting, dynamic, and prevent players from voting for every Landmark possible. Your vote counts, so you must carefully. As usual, not every player will end up with every badge, and there will be future opportunities to get a Voter Badge, which will have different criteria. The badge requirement of voting for 3 properties that win, helps ensure that the most classic Landmark candidates are likely to get more votes (something we all want).
7. In order to encourage a wider array of players to vote, we’re revealing an additional prize. Any player who participates in voting for a Landmark will be entered into a drawing to win a 50,000 UPX prize. We will also draw for 2nd place and 3rd place prizes of 10,000 UPX and 5,000 UPX respectively.
8. Lastly, in the spirit of the democratic activity of voting, we’re announcing an addendum to the Landmark voting rules:
While votes from Visitors will count, we will only count Visitor votes from accounts that were made prior to Friday, October 9th (PT). This is in order to reduce the likelihood of fraudulent votes from throwaway accounts and help ensure that the votes are coming from players who have a vested interest in Upland’s future. We will look extra diligently into potential cases of multi-accounts that participated in voting, prior to announcing the final results.
Again, we’re thankful for the lively debate that has been occurring around this process and we hope you keep an open mind in understanding why the Upland team has selected the approach we have.
-The Upland Team