Location-based social media games, often called LBS games, use your real time physical location as a component in the game. Many developers use local marketing as a way to attract players, often allowing players to exchange virtual rewards for real life rewards. If you want to take gaming into the real world, check out these popular games.
Geocaching is a game where people hide treasure in hard to find places and provide GPS coordinates as hints for others to find it. Over five-million people partake in this global treasure hunt. The game works off a simple policy: if you find treasure, you must leave something of equal or greater value. If we assume that everyone follows the rules, that means there is 1.4 millions treasure chests scattered around the globe, sometimes right under the noses of those not in on the game.
Players can interact with social networks by posting about their experience when they find a treasure, telling friends about their search, or by joining specific Geocaching communities.
According to developer Booyah, this location-based social media game has over 1.5 million regular inhabitants and hosts over four-million players,. This makes it one of the most popular LBS games on the market.
MyTown converts areas into real-world Monopoly games. Players visit real-world locations to earn rewards, which can include power ups and virtual money. A major contributor to the game's success is its real-world rewards. Players can exchange their virtual credit to earn discount coupons and other promotions from real-life vendors.
SCVNGR is a game where players visit real-life locations and solve clues in order to complete a challenge and earn points. The game has over 1,000 businesses, including the Smithsonian, offering playing fields.
The points that players earn can often be exchanged for real-life rewards, like a free cup of coffee at a popular café or a discount on a meal. Players can increase their scores and unlock new rewards by sharing experiences with friends on Facebook and Twitter. SCVNGR reached over one-million users in February of 2011.
While other location-based games focus on marketing local businesses, Mobeo emphasizes fun. Founded in 2010, the game has already attracted a dedicated following.
Players gain points by moving around and updating their GPS coordinates. Other players see the updates and try to sabotage their opponents by hitting them with flaming cabbages, laying slippery bananas or letting loose possessed lawnmowers. All of those are virtual, by the way. The more you know about your friend's habits, the easier it will be for you to rack up points.
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