Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Go Forth and Gowalla? Maybe not yet...

I like to give each new technology the benefit of the doubt and often have faith in a technical solution before (or after) it is common wisdom. What I mean is that I sometimes grip on to something at first sight (like Google Wave or Sun's ZFS) and just don't want to see it go--I won't let go. (Some of you are like that about Unix, or cursive handwriting.)

So the idea of location-based games, especially those that marketers want to use to give me free goodies, that is an example of the sort of thing I'd love.  If the folks at Gowalla tell me that checking in three times at Whole Foods will get me a free bag of rice, I won't go to the place just to get the rice, but if I'm already going there, I'll be sure to punch in.

But that's really an oversimplified glimpse of what is possible with location-based games. There are some more amazing, and some more chilling implications.