A game built on top of comments.

Any of you that know me, or have been following me for any period of time, know that I spend a lot of time thinking about how to incorporate gameplay into just about everything and anything. And so it’s probably not a shock to hear that I’ve been thinking about a game as it relates to comments for awhile now.

While I actually have no vested personal interest in comments, one of the reasons I’ve been thinking about the possiblity of a game like this is just because of the Disqus.com comment system…which I believe finally has enough critical mass to make a game like this not only possible, but actually fun (and also very technically possible).

Another reason is just because of the personal thrill I get everytime someone like Fred Wilson personally replies to a comment I leave on his blog…or even the jolt of personal-validation I get from any random reply to a comment I leave around the web…

Both of those feelings are very much like the excitement I get in completing an in-game challenge…and so of course my brain jumps right to “why not make it an actual game?!”

So while I haven’t worked out all of the details just yet, the basic goal of the game would be:

Invoke better, more engaging, discussions.

And I think the initial, basic, gameplay would be something like this:

One point for every response a comment you leave on a qualifying blog generates.

Actually, the more I think about it, it would probably be better to implement a badge system much like foursquare uses (ie. earn a badge for most reply-generating comments across the whole disqus system, earn a badge for most replies generated on a given blog, earn a badge for generating X number of replies in whole, etc.)

Again, since Disqus is already so widely adopted, the data to power a simple game like this is already out there…and since Disqus actually has an API, I think most of the pieces are in fact already in place for a game like this to be built…

If the game took off, perhaps Disqus or website owners, could even require a certain badge level or ‘point’ value before you were allowed to leave auto-approved messages…or maybe even allow certain badge level people to help 'monitor/manage/approve’ comments for their blog (ie. the top 3 or 4 badge owners for a given community could be granted the power to manage the comments for that community)…

So really it’s more just a matter of find the time to actually build it (and of course get the word out there for people to start playing it)…honestly it’s probably got a better chance of success if it’s something Disqus itself implements (though I don’t believe it could only be done by Disqus, it would just be easier for them then a third party)…

Anyway - I would love to hear your thoughts a game like this…would you care? Would you play it? Would you be proud of the badges you earned? Would you show them off, and if so, where?

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This is the personal blog of Kevin Marshall (a.k.a Falicon) where he often digs into side projects he's working on for digdownlabs.com and other random thoughts he's got on his mind.

Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.

If you have comments, thoughts, or want to respond to something you see here I would encourage you to respond via a post on your own blog (and then let me know about the link via one of the routes mentioned above).