I’ve been inspired by the TED presentation from Seth Priebatsch, founder of SCVNGR. I hope they’re working on a Windows Phone 7 version of their app! What inspired me is the distinction he makes of social games from social media. Specifically, current social networking influences connections between people and things (locations, brands, etc.) on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Gaming on these networks influences behavior. Four of the main game dynamics behind the location-based services, according to Seth are :
- Appointment dynamic: Players have to do something by a specific time, such as fly to get mileage points, buy when a sale is on, etc.
- Influence and status dynamic: Players want to be perceived in a certain way, such as achieving the highest level in a game, having branded clothing on their Xbox avatar, etc.
- Progression dynamic: Players want to achieve or complete something, such as seeing a partially completed profile on a social network
- Communal discovery dynamic: Players have to work together to achieve something, such as going in with others to activate a Groupon or unlocking the Swarm badge on Foursquare.
Any advertiser can apply these game dynamics to their own efforts on social media and a variety of other marketing efforts, such as their rewards programs and contests.
See Seth’s TED presentation here: http://www.ted.com/talks/seth_priebatsch_the_game_layer_on_top_of_the_world.html