Nearly anyone who's active on Xbox Live is aware of Gamerscore points, awarded for achieving certain in-game goals. They're not used for any sort of material gain -- they're pure ego, a way for gamers to compare their chops with other gamers. And people take them very seriously.
Online content, as it becomes increasingly interactive and tailored to the individual, faces a problem: How does it deliver an individual experience and still contribute to a cultural identity? We're especially seeing instances of the "choose-your-own-adventure" type of storytelling in gaming. But this concept of personalization seemingly operates against the need for joint attention. So how can the two needs both be satisfied? Social frameworks seem to be key.