I’m not sure I can even remember how I heard about it — probably on Twitter or identica — but two months ago I signed up to get a “mystery starter kit” from a startup called Akoha. I finally received that package yesterday and got my first peek into an exciting new concept in gaming that has potential to actually improve your world.Here’s how it works. I have an account on Akoha, and they send me a deck of cards — actual, real world cards, but they also show up in my account on the website. Each card is a “mission” and has a unique code. The missions are all nice things I can do, like buy somebody coffee, give someone a book, donate my time, or make somebody smile. When I do one of these things, I’ve paid it forward, and I give the person the card. Then either of us can go on akoha.com and register that mission and include information about it including geocoding it on a Google Maps mashup. If the person already had an Akoha account, then the mission card gets added to their account and they can play it forward to somebody else! If they didn’t have an account already, then they can use the code on the card to create an account, which entitles them to their own deck so they can spread the love. Either way, you can watch where your missions travel and how many people they affect. It’s a simple and brilliant concept that uses gaming as a platform for paying mitzvahs forward, and online tools to create real world change.