Lately I read about yet another new location-based social media utility that prides itself on being more ‘gamified’ than things like FourSquare. It is called ‘Scvngr’ and it has raised $15 million toward the establishment of its business. Information put out to interested parties indicates that Scvngr will ask you to ‘high five’ people you see drinking Coca Cola or wear a hat made out of the tin foil in which your burrito was wrapped, photograph yourself wearing the hat, and then your friends will be ‘notified’ about the fact you completed a ‘challenge’ in your city. You can compete with your friends to earn rewards/coupons/brand discounts etc.
Without having experienced this app for myself I can still hypothesize scenarios by which the intent is unlikely to match the reality.
How Scvngr Intends To Be
What a fun way to spend a Saturday. I am racing my friends around the city and we are completing challenges. I even made some new friends through my zany public behavior at the mall, when I spread uninhibited joy to Coca-Cola drinkers via unsolicited high-fives. They were touched by my spontaneous attitude and happy to help me earn reward points. Then my friends and I all went for burritos and we competed to see who could make the silliest tin foil hat. I am so glad my friends and I all own smartphones and enjoy spending our social time playing with them together.
How Scvngr Probably Is
‘What the hell,’ says a startled man as I attempt to high five him. He returns my gesture weakly out of reflex. In the awkward silence that follows I explain to him I was trying to earn a free Coke. My friends and I go to the burrito store. While we are all spending time seated in a booth enjoying our burritos, I begin to put my tin foil on my head. ‘What are you doing’, says my friend. ‘I am playing a social game,’ I tell him. ‘Can you take a picture of me with my smartphone’. ‘What is it for,’ he says. ‘I want to earn a badge and possibly free pico de gallo with my next purchase’, I tell him. He says ‘I think you got like rice in your hair.’