For those of us who are completionists (individuals who are driven to complete whatever they start, whatever that may entail), the badges can be a bit of a nuisance. I asked previously if it would be possible to remove the badges that are next to impossible to acquire here on Worldbuilding, considering our active community. We don't have the capability to do that (and may not want to, given the accepted answer), but that leaves completionists like me (and Tim B) in a bit of a jam.

I seem to remember there was a discussion in the comments here on Meta a while ago (I can't find it now) suggesting users were specifically taking actions to award badges to each other, but that was on viable questions.

Would it be acceptable to create questions/answers specifically to acquire badges?

For example, posting a question indicating that users should not look at it, vote on it, or answer it for a week, in order to get the Tumbleweed badge.

I understand that doing this may reduce the quality of site, if too many users opt to acquire all the badges. This could be considered a form of social experiment using the site itself as a Worldbuilding question. ("Given these constraints, how would society respond?" is a frequently-asked question, after all.)

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    $\begingroup$ Honestly, I don't see why anyone would go to such lengths for a bronze badge. Now, if it was a gold badge... $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 18:47
  • $\begingroup$ @DaaaahWhoosh A series of questions could be used to accept 0-score answers, which could award Unsung Hero to someone. $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 18:51
  • $\begingroup$ Well, I'm on board. Now someone just needs to come up with at least ten on-topic non-duplicate questions where answerers should expect no upvotes. We'll probably also need a team of downvoters to offset the trolls. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 18:59
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    $\begingroup$ I understand your point, and I look at the badge table every now and then (not that I'm doing particularly well). But then, I am "proud" that we don't have tumbleweed badges it is a badge for the community, rather than for individuals. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 19:41
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    $\begingroup$ Here's one way you could look at it. The "tumbleweed" badge is like a consolation prize.. why would you aim for it? Go for the Socratic, Stellar Question, or Great Question badges! Think similarly for answering as well. :) $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 21:21
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    $\begingroup$ I haven't heard of this type of person ( but I gue $\endgroup$
    – Samuel
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 22:59
  • $\begingroup$ The tumbleweed might one day be awarded. However, I think it would be almost impossible for me to get the Unsung Hero badge since I only have 1 accepted answer with a score of 0... $\endgroup$
    – bowlturner
    Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 13:48
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    $\begingroup$ @Samuel I get the joke, but now your comment is going to bother me for the rest of the day. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 16:57
  • $\begingroup$ @DaaaahWhoosh And here I thought he just pressed 'send' too soon, which happens fairly regularly. $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 18:02
  • $\begingroup$ @JBH These are not duplicates by any stretch of the imagination. For one, I asked them both, which I wouldn't have if they were the same. Second, the other question asks about getting rid of badges while this one asks about working within the existing framework to get the badges. Third, I linked the questions myself. $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Commented Dec 4, 2017 at 17:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Frostfyre, good point! I pulled these apart. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Dec 4, 2017 at 19:19

3 Answers 3


This is not something I would support. Learn to live with disappointment, and I do not mean to come off snarky.

The desire to be a completionist is admirable in my opinion (if you're not a little OCD you're not doing it right!) but is conceptually flawed in this case. Setting a goal that cannot be completed without cheating the system is not the systems fault, rather it is the fault of flawed goals.

In the end we are also talking about imaginary internet points right? I do understand how that can make a person's brain itch, I have that problem in certain situations as well, but I assure you that learning to ignore that itch when it doesn't really matter is a good life skill to pick up.

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    $\begingroup$ Well, I guess I won't be getting Tumbleweed for this question... $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 18:44
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    $\begingroup$ @Frostfyre Well played Sir. :) $\endgroup$
    – James
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 18:55
  • $\begingroup$ Badges are even less than Imaginary Internet Points... $\endgroup$
    – user
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 19:10
  • $\begingroup$ Related: if we who are not Completionists want to be really cruel, we could always invent unofficial badges to keep going after! If there's anything I learned from my WoW days, its the best way to keep completionists busy is to keep building the list of things to do faster than they can finish it! $\endgroup$
    – Cort Ammon
    Commented Nov 1, 2015 at 18:12

I understand that doing this may reduce the quality of site

That should be your answer, right there. Why would we want to take active steps to reduce the quality of the site?

I can see no valid reason whatsoever for that.

Some badges are easy to get (Autobiographer comes to mind). Others are hard to get. Consider badges like Reversal, Unsung Hero, and so on.


I understand you. But badges should be about achievements. Cheating and cheap tactics are not for the best interests of the community.

Still, if done right, chasing down badges can be good for the community.

  • Announcer: Share link to your questions or questions that you like to help the growth of the community.

  • Vote (up or down): we have on a good day, 20+ question and an average of 5 answers per question. That is roughly 120 posts. It's not that hard to get the : Vox Populi (40 votes on a day), Suffrage (30 votes). Voting is important, it lets everyone know what content is good/bad. That said, don't vote on every single post unless you read them. Otherwise it will hurt the quality of the site.

  • You can also work your way to get the electorate badge. It's a long run but by now we have plenty of good content to vote on.

  • Reviewer: Complete at least 250 review tasks. This badge is awarded once per review type. And Proofreader :Approve or reject 100 suggested edits. That is quite easy to get and doesn't take too much time. There is always something waiting in the review queue.

  • Strunk & White: In the same vein, as you read posts, edit mistakes if you see them. I normally have 3-4 edits everyday. You can get it pretty easily if you do it regularly with close to 400 posts per week or so. In no time, you will get the Copy Editor badge (3-4 months maybe) :)

    Also consider the Explainer badge (edit and answer a question afterward.

  • Revival and necromancer: old questions need answers too. Some might be old but it doesn't mean there is noting more to add.

  • Deputy: Flag bad content when you see it.

  • Self-Learner: Answering your own questions sounds odd but sharing your knowledge with the community is a good thing in the end.

  • Research Assistant: Many tags don't have descriptions yet. Although the creation of new tags is much slower than a year ago, new tags are still created every now and then.

  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, that doesn't help with the fact that there are some badges that are absolutely impossible to get on Worldbuilding. It devalues badges a lot for me that there are some that are completely impossible to get. $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Commented Nov 2, 2015 at 15:48

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