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FourSquare, Farmville and being the Mayor of Bus 29


Photo by ErikK06

At the time writing this I am the mayor of Bus 29 in London.

I am not a heavy user of FourSquare as I do have my concerns about broadcasting my whereabouts to the Internet. I prefer other location-based networks such as FlookIt where you broadcast less frequently and possibly when you are back home.

But FourSquare is interesting from a professional point of view. It is a great tool turning the world into one big social game. And as such I am playing around with it which is part of the explanation behind my odd mayorship.

The other part of the explanation is that I find it interesting how FourSquare is limited to static places.

In fact, I find it strange that FourSquare is limited to real places and apparently I am not the only one judging by this article about:

…allowing users to check into a TV show or movie the same way they could check into a physical place.

Article via @markwschaefer.

But as a semi-active player of the online multiplayer game Final Fantasy XI I have been thinking about a different set of location-based networks. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could check-in via FourSquare to virtual destinations?

If you have ever played any computer game you will appreciate the idea:

  • What if you helped out so much on your friend’s Farmville that you could claim to be the mayor? Are we potentially talking hostile takeover?
  • Can you claim ownership of the toughest neighbourhoods in GTA?
  • Or what about mayorship of a whole little big planet?

With social gaming set to take over the world maybe location-based social networks actually makes more sense in the safer environment of online gaming, where your house won’t get robbed while you are taking disco lessons *.

* Disclaimer:
That last link has nothing to do with location-based marketing… I just think it is funny :-)


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