I was quite excited when what I think is the first twitter game, Spymaster, was launched recently. Essentially, when you sign up to join the game you have complete tasks, recruit other spymasters from your twitter network and assassinate other players. While I think the idea of a game built around something like twitter is a great idea, in principle, I have a couple of concerns about spymaster:

  • Now I may be missing the point but it doesn’t actually seem to be much fun.  Completing tasks is entirely related to chance and there doesn’t seem to be much skill, though or strategy involved. (Although perhaps this is more apparent at higher levels?)
  • More worrying to me (and the reason that I’ve stopped playing) is that it seems very easy to annoy your current twitter following (the majority of whom will not be using it to play games) by: a) flooding with constant tweets from the game; or b) having to send invitations to play as an integral part of the game design.

So, while I love the idea of embedding a game into a tool like this, I think it’s essential to make it unobtrusive to the majority of users who have no interest in game playing.

1 Comment

  1. Daniel Livingstone

    Yes, for a spying game its annoying how *obvious* it is. I signed up and instantly signed out again when I realised what it would do to my twitter.

    If perhaps it gave you objectives and goals for things that could be played out via twitter – such as work innocuous (or blindingly bizarre) code phrases into your own posts to ‘pass messages’ to other players.

    Or to hunt for enemy spies based on catch phrases using twitter search…

    Honestly, though, if you are playing a spying game, you don’t want it to constantly advertise that you are a spy. It did make me think, for a moment, of the SPOOKS game in Halting State though.

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