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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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).