Google has launched a new way of discovering the world via a game. Google’s latest feature Smarty Pins mixes trivia game with map. Players, who are asked Trivia questions, should localise the location described in placing a pin on a Google Map. (Tnooz)

ALL ASPECTS OF GAMIFICATION

Even simple, Smarty Pins ticks almost all the requirement for gamification.

  • Goal: Answering the most questions possible, before loosing the 1000 points (called miles in the game) attributed at the beginning of the game. In case of a wrong answer, the player looses the number of miles separating the cities, which was the correct answer, and the location he has pinned it on. Every time, the player gives a good answer, he can gain between 1 to 15 miles, if an answer within 15 seconds is given.
  • Time pressure: The faster the player answers, the more miles he receives as a reward if the answer was correct. Every second, the reward decreases by one point.
  • Rarity: It is an unlikely high achievement to receive 15 miles, as the gameplay makes it difficult to pin immediately an exact location.
  • Help: After 15 seconds, the game provides one more clue about the city to find.
  • Reward: Every five questions answered, the player receives an award. After the five first questions, he receives a bronze one, then silver and gold.
  • Empowerment: The more questions the player answers, the better the reward he receives.
  • Social challenges: The game has implemented a leaderboard for the best players. At the end of the game, a player can also share its score on the social media channels Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and invite friends to challenge the score.

DISCOVERING THE WORLD WHILE PLAYING

Smarty Pins allows players to learn cultural facts, while updating their geographical knowledge. Users can either start the game immediately or choose a specific category among Feature topics, Art&Culture, Science&Geography, Sports&Games, Entertainment and History&Current events. The only weakness of the game is the difficulty to actually drop pins to a location. This kind of game is not a novelty. For example, the game Geguessr uses Google Street view and then asks the player to guess what is the location.

HOW TRAVEL INDUSTRY COULD TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS KIND OF GAME?

With such a gameplay, a new way of discovering a country is possible. The playground needs only to be reduced to a country scale. By implementing questions about a specific country and using visual content, such as satellite, street views or images, the game could even be more attractive.

 

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