The principle of Foursquare mixes social media, geolocation and … a game! Yes, there’s basically a playful side by using this application.
Foursquare is a bit like Twitter; participants use this mobile technology (which can be downloaded on most phones) to inform people about the play they’re located in. Therefore, they “check-in” – indicate their presence – at restaurants, metro stations, museums, cafes and bars where they go to.
Considering to their activities, they can earn points in the city where they are. Then these points can be turned into virtual rewards called “badges“.
For example, there is a badge if you visit three karaoke clubs within a month, another one if you tell your friends you went to the gym 10 times in the last 30 days, etc..
Here is a list of all the badges that that can be acquired.
You can even become the virtual Mayor of the city! To do this, simply indicate your presence as often as possible in different locations. It’s therefore possible to obtain the title of “Mayor” of your bowling alley, of your favorite restaurant, or of the bistro you attend to every week with your friends, and even of your university if you have the most “check-ins” at this location.
In addition to sharing the place where you are, the idea is also to give your contacts good advice and recommend the best sites to visit (“tips”)!
Obviously, as in any game, there are cheaters! Nothing prevents a user to take his laptop and make people he is currently watching a movie at the theater, or drinking a beer at a bar, just in order to become the representative of this place or earn badges…
However, it would be too simplistic to see this new technology as a simple geolocation game. You can also play to more complex games with Foursquare, like the Metropoli!