There is something lackluster about social check-in apps like FourSquare, Gowalla and Facebook Places. Whenever I tried to use or checkout one of those services, I was always thinking about how letting my friends know where I’ve been is not exciting enough for me to use it. This impression of those websites not providing me with a lot of incentive to maintain my accounts but a new service has popped up and it seems particularly intriguing with its marriage of social media and gaming; SCVNGR.
So what is SCVNGR?
SCVNGR at its core is a Social Game, it makes you look at the locations that you check-in from in an entirely different light. When you check-in from a location you will be able to choose from a variety of scavenger hunts or “treks”, they could ask for a specific word mentioned in a restaurants menu or to take a picture with a certain landmark. After completing each challenge you will earn points, badges and even real-world rewards for your efforts, never mind that boasting rights for pawning your friends. other users.
While the number of challenges available is consistently growing it still in its infancy stage but the buzz around the service has made more than a 1000+ institutes in over 20 countries are already developing treks on SCVNGR. Boston, the city where the company is based in, has the largest number of treks and challenges available and provides the richest experience for SCVNGR users while other major cities, universities and locations following suite and adding various treks.
Boston The Home of The Scavenger
Institutes like the New England Patriots, the Smithsonian Institution and Boston Globe have worked with SCVNGR to develop new ways to experience the environments, stadiums, museums and even the cities that they reside in. One of the grander treks was the one developed by the Boston Globe which aimed at encouraging Bostonians to go out and experience the city by going on scavenger hunts and challenges the newspaper has developed. Those challenges ranged from locating Boston Globe boxes and scanning the QR Codes for extra points or checking in from various landmarks and pubs around the city. The people with the highest scores earn a chance at winning a variety of prizes including a couple of tickets to a Red Sox Game.
Absolutely, while it might be confused with other check-in applications and some might call the gaming aspect of it just a gimmick but to me it’s exactly that gaming aspect that makes me use the application. Check-in applications such as Gowalla and Foursquare have always seemed like they were fueled by the need for some people to be vain, and boast to others about the places and people they have met over the weekend, the users that used them were the ones that would frown at you with disgust if all you did over the weekend is read a book at home. This is the main reason why check-in applications never attracted me, but with SCVNGR it communicated to the gamer side of me, the competitive I-Will-Kick-Your-Bum-Bum id and I believe for that reason alone it will quickly trump other check-in services.
There are still some of us out there that are not vanity sell-outs and this application will make us work to earn our vanity just like a gamer should, and that’s kosher vanity in my book.
Have you heard of SCVNGR before? Does it interest you? Share with us your thoughts in the comment section below.