Run fun and engaging tournaments for the Manifold community.
Games are a great way to bring a community together and make them want to stick around and engage with each other. Games can also be intellectually challenging, rewarding cleverness and technical analysis, and teaching people useful mathematical concepts, all of which are a perfect fit for Manifold's core demographic. Gaming tournaments are also a natural fit for prediction markets, as people can bet on the outcomes of the tournament, gaining information by studying the game, watching the tournament, or playing themselves.
In fact, most traditional gambling occurs with regards to games; casino games being the most well known, but people also bet on football and many others. Getting Manifold into the gaming scene seems like a promising avenue for both user acquisition (people joining to bet on an existing game they're interested in) and retention (people having fun on Manifold playing games with each other).
What are this project's goals and how will you achieve them?
Goal: Run fun and engaging tournaments for the Manifold community.
Method: By running fun and engaging tournaments for the Manifold community.
How will this funding be used?
I don't have a traditional day job, my income comes from various forms of gig work and self-employment. Any money I get from this project is time that I don't have to spend making that money some other way, and is therefore additional time I can put into Manifold.
Who is on your team and what's your track record on similar projects?
Only me as the core team member, though I plan to solicit help from others if it becomes necessary for a particularly complicated tournament. I previously ran a Magic: The Gathering tournament and a prisoner's dilemma/code golf programming and game theory competition on Manifold, both of which were well-received.
Outside of Manifold, running gaming tournaments is the closest thing I have to a day job. I've been judging high level tabletop Magic tournaments for more than 10 years, have designed software for them, and write about best practices on my blog.
I currently have two more tournaments planned; a sequel to the prisoner's dilemma tournament, improving the tournament structure and fixing some flaws of the last one, and a weekly Among Us league. Depending on how those go I'll figure out what direction makes the most sense to pursue next.
What are the most likely causes and outcomes if this project fails? (premortem)
Insufficient interest from the community. The Magic tournament had 16 people, and the prisoner's dilemma contest had about 30, which were plenty to run a fun event, but not highly promising numbers given the overall size of Manifold's user base. The Among Us league only has 4 signups thus far, which is not a big problem in this case (Among Us runs best with games of 5-10 people), but indicates relatively low interest from the community.
What other funding are you or your project getting?
None. If this becomes a particularly involved endeavor with a large (50+ people) player base I may start taking a cut of entry fees, but I have no plans to do so any time soon. All tournaments I've run thus far have been for free.