Example Game     Tips & Tricks     Philosophy
12:15 pm at the Taco Truck
Vladimir: "I've gotta sit up straight more at work. My neck is killing me."
Estragon: "I hear you. But personally, I want to make more progress on my novel. I'd like to write a paragraph an hour, even if it's a bad one. Wanna try Ping Progress?"
V: "Sure. "I'm willing to contribute $10 and play for a week."
E: "$10 sounds good. I'll play to represent Doctors Without Borders."
V: "I'd rather see the money stay local. I'll play for the recycled bike co-op."
E: "Ok, bring it, you slouching bike punk!"
[Various trash talk continues]
Vlad plans to catch Estragon in the mid-afternoon slump, so he sends a ping for $0.50. This is the first ping of the game.
Estragon gets an email from the Ping Progress server: "Vlad has pinged you! Have you written a paragraph of your novel in the last hour?"
Estragon just finished several paragraphs, and so he clicks on the "-yes" link in the email.
He informs Vlad: "Yeah I sure did! Going great, in fact!"
The Ping Progress server commits a $0.50 donation to Doctors Without Borders, and $19.50 remains in the "pot" to be distributed.
Estragon pings Vlad for $1, and catches him slouching!
There is now $1.50 going to Doctors Without Borders, and $18.50 remains in the pot.
4:15 - 4:30 pm
Estragon pings Vlad twice more. Vlad is slouching once, and sitting up straight once.
New rule: Vlad now has received enough pings to have his odds calculated.
His likelihood of success is currently estimated at 33%. So the next time Estragon pings him, the payouts will work a little differently.
This new rule takes effect on each player's fourth ping, and continues until the end of the game.
Estragon pings Vlad for $1. If Vlad is slouching, then $1 goes to Estragon's charity. But because of the new rule, if Vlad succeeds in sitting up straight, then $2 will go to his charity. By increasing Vlad's incentive in this way, Ping Progress ensures that he always has a chance at winning, as long as he improves upon his past performance. There is no penalty carried forward from his past failures, but he also doesn't get to rest on his past successes!
Three days later.
Vlad has been sitting up straight slightly more. His odds of success increased from 33% to 36%, one percentage point each day. Estragon did even better - his odds started at 40% and increased to 55%. This improvement allowed him to win more pings and earn more payouts than Vlad. The final tally was $14.25 for Doctors Without Borders and $5.75 for recycle bike co-op.
6 pm At the house of pancakes.
Vlad: "Good game, bro. Here's $4.25 - you'll send a check for $14.25 to Doctors Without Novels?" Estragon: "That's Doctors Without Borders, punk. Did you give the $5.75 to the bike co-op?" Vlad: "Yeah, it was good. It's nice to have an excuse to remind me to give some cash. I threw in a few extra bucks." E: "Nice. You're a good man, Vlad."