Friday, 20 May 2011

Bring your RPG to life with Gowalla



As a guy whose dayjob takes place entirely on the internet, I'm usually on top of web technologies, but I have to admit that I never got into the geolocation social network/ game Foursquare. After some reading I decided to sign up to Foursquare and its rival Gowalla and see how they were and what I could get out of them.

One thing Gowalla has that Foursquare hasn't is the ability to leave private notes for your friends at the location of your choice. For example, my girlfriend could put a note on a supermarket, so when I 'check-in' that location on Gowalla her note appears telling me to get milk or whatever.

This got me thinking about awesome ways to use this tool for roleplaying games. What if the GM placed hidden items throughout the city, such as treasure or magical weapons so when the players checked-in to, say, the comic book score, they each received some treasure for their character?

Or perhaps you could leave clues around the city or your local area, each of which they have to follow to get the next clue, which could eventually lead them to discovering some treasure.

Ok, so it isn't exactly roleplaying and the fact that the characters themselves aren't getting treasure in the game may put a lot of people off doing this, but it seems like a cool interactive idea. Alternatively you could leave little stat bonuses that they can only use in one session, since that's a bit more abstract.

I really think this function on Gowalla has some really good roleplaying potential to engage players more in the game. Maybe you can think of something? If so, let me know in the comments.