Life Isn’t A Game. Except For When It Is.
September 29, 2010 Leave a comment
Games are everywhere these days. Video game consoles, hand held devices, on our phones, even on our search engines. But one emerging trend is shifting gaming from something that happens on a device to something that happens in real life, with a device. Why just go to a bar when you can go to a bar, score points, earn a title and beat your friends? Games that take place in real life have been around forever – scavenger hunts and Killer are two examples of games layered over real life. But even happy hour at bars are a form of offline social gaming (just watch the video below if you don’t believe me).
The big difference between games like Killer and SCVNGR is online social networking. Organizing and managing a game of Killer in real life is pretty complicated. Not to mention you can really only play against other people in your game. With SCVNGR, Foursquare and the others you can play against your friends, their friends and a whole host of other people without having to do anything more than download an app.
So how popular are location-based games? Instead of killing SCVNGR and Foursquare, Facebook Places seems to have given them a boost. At least temporarily anyway. Time will tell whether there is room in this space for multiple players. Both SCVNGR and Foursquare are placing big bets on college students to be the next big market for location-based games/apps.
In the meantime, brands are dipping their toe into the Places waters.
And for a great look into the minds of entrepreneurs like SCVNGR’s Seth Priebatsch, check out this NY Times article.