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Everything you need to know about Mementos but were afraid to ask—Part 1 #redux
Hello Remarkists! I know it’s been some time since you heard my voice here! I’ll be popping in occasionally over the coming months, mostly with articles about features and how Remarkist works.
As you know, this is a project in development; most of the stuff we’re building is evolving and transforming—sometimes, features will even be removed. Because of this, some of our older posts where we dive deep into a subject might become irrelevant or even confusing to new members who find them. So we’ll be revitalizing old posts from time to time as new revised versions with a #redux tag in the title. And old versions of the posts will be updated to include an opening paragraph directing readers to the newest #redux.
We thought we’d kick off these new redux posts with a return to Mementos and a 5-part series into which we made only one post. The Memento system has undergone a lot of change over the past year, and we’re still learning about them and carving out their future in our fan ecosystem—adding new features and tweaking old ones. When we began our blog series on Mementos, a lot of stuff we now consider a normal part of Mementos wasn’t even there yet. So this post has been updated to take us into that blog series based on where Mementos are today.
Let’s refresh, shall we?
What is a Memento?
Remarkist is a community platform for fandoms to converge around their favorite stories, characters, and franchises. No matter the content, fans tend to engage one another in two ways…
They like to discuss their beloved stories—at Remarkist we do this during live virtual events like watch parties and gab sessions.
They play together.
If discussion is the mind of Remarkist 🧠 then play is its heart 💗. We play on the platform in many different ways—everything from content-themed trivia & bingo to memes & humorous banter. But our app has one form of play that actually helps fuel the curiosity and growth of our community: Mementos.
Mementos are sets of limited edition collectible badges that event hosts release in connection with content-themed events, such as 🍿 watch parties, 👄 gab sessions 🎲 games, 💡 talks, or 🔥 fireside chats. The host gives the set a title that somehow aligns with the event, and they add a description to give the Memento some context—this description can be an opportunity for creative writing; it can contain clues to riddles and scavenger hunts that the host intends to play with their attendees, or it can simply express the reason for releasing the Memento or what aspects of the event it may commemorate.
Finally, Mementos include a simple piece of visual representation—a colored background, a colored border, and an icon to represent it. We have an ever-growing catalog of thousands of fun creative icons to choose from—essentially emojis—that can represent countless themes, tropes, character archetypes, and story conventions without infringing trademark or copyright. And if you don’t find something you like, you can help us build out that catalog by uploading your own simple designs.
So Mementos are very similar to the badges that games and social networks distribute. But Mementos have some… well, let’s just say “complexities” that make them unique from the typical digital reward trophy. So, again, this is the first in a 5-part series of posts explaining the nuances of this digital collectible and its corresponding—fledgling—marketplace.
Our first three posts will cover Memento creation and are geared more toward Members looking to build experiences and content for others. Our last two posts will cover Memento collecting and their use in Remarkist play.
Community Created 🫂🛠️
Digital collectibles appeal to two types of game players: achievers 🎯 and explorers 🧭. Fandoms are full of these types. They like to discover, learn, and grow together. Many fans pride themselves on knowing their fandom well… while others collect themed keepsakes as a tribute to their beloved stories, characters, and franchises. So trophies and collectibles can be a fun part of games and social media. But it’s usually only the game platform that awards players—products like Duo Lingo or games like Animal Crossing distribute their own set of badges. Well, our Mementos are handed out by community members who can use them to inspire the same interest and play that larger social platforms do… but in a more collaborative fashion.
Mementos are not in endless supply. Hosts release only a certain amount during an event, each with a unique number representing their claimed order. Like a limited-edition art or book print. Once all editions of a Memento have been claimed, that’s it. No more. In fact, the Mementos a host drops cost them KRNLs 🌽🌽 (our in-app currency) to create. So these trophies are backed by some value placed by the host. The combination of this value along with a Memento’s scarcity makes them more precious than the kind of badges we find in abundance on other platforms. The host is handing out a gift they purchased, a thank you for supporting them, and a hope that you’ll continue doing so and spreading the word—a memento of your time together.
Hosts can create playful experiences for their attendees around their Mementos. For example, all Mementos require a password to claim, so hosts can challenge their collectors with clever puzzles 🤔 and scavenger hunts 🗺️ that reveal the password and unlock the Memento prize. Hosts can build fun mazes of knowledge about their event or the content celebrated, and attendees can show their deep understanding within that fandom and win a badge of honor that proves it.
Members can also showcase four Mementos on their public profile. Various showcase configurations can dramatically boost a member’s KRNL earning rate when they harvest from certain events. Figuring out those ideal configurations within any given day becomes a game of strategy and timing that deepens our connection to other event hosts and the story worlds we love.
Mementos also allow hosts and collectors to wall-off exclusive experiences and clubs that only other collectors can access 🚪. They can link them to various prizes, both digital and physical. And they can be used as membership cards for sub-communities within Remarkist. In this way, Mementos are essentially licenses between the host and the collector. They can come with utility built into our system or represent promises made by the host outside of Remarkist—like a printed t-shirt or a ticket to in-person meet-ups. This utility can also add to its long-term preciousness.
Art and Literature 🎨📖
Because Mementos provide an opportunity for creative writing and graphic design, hosts can make them vessels for stories and visual expression 🏺. Hosts can use the description section of a Memento to include micro-fiction, short essays on event themes and topics, poetry, or even page-length parts of longer literature told over dozens of related Mementos. This gives Mementos collectibility and appeal simply for their artistic value and provenance. They can be appreciated and treasured as forms of unique expression.
Passive Earnings 🌽🌽🌽
All these traits of a Memento point to something of value. That something is… you, the Memento creator. Your place within fandom and community—your passion over your favorite franchises—has value. And a Memento is how we package it and share it with the world.
When you first claim a Memento it is often free; however, that edition will start to deteriorate—it’ll wrinkle, crack, and crumble. Mementos and, in essence, what they represent will fade over time ⏳ so collectors are asked to keep their memory alive or pass them on—perhaps even sell them—to someone else who will. They do this by spending minuscule amounts of our in-app KRNL currency 🌽🌽 to restore the Mementos rather than letting them crumble to dust. Most of that tiny restoration fee goes to the creator and serves as patronage for their continued contributions. As small as those fees might be to restore a single edition—a fraction of a KRNL a day—over hundreds of Mementos and collectors, those KRNLs can add up and provide the fuel and confidence a fan creator needs to discover more ideas, continue to inspire, and make the community and fandom more awesome.
Right now, KRNLs are a utility token—Monopoly money that we harvest throughout Remarkist. It only has use inside our ecosystem, but our short-term goal is to provide ways to spend those KRNLs on fandom creations here at Remarkist that you consider valuable, meaningful, or simply delightful. And we hope that gets us closer to fulfilling our broader vision of a full fandom economy where you can leverage your fan passion and perspective to earn in the real world.
In our next post about Mementos, we examine how to create them and best practices when you do. In Part 3, we take a look at criteria that mementos must meet for content approval. And by the time we’re finished with these, you’ll be well on your way to building cool Memento content, communities, and experiences—and earning along the way!