I've been playing FourSquare, the passively multiplayer online game for a few months now, and find it diverting and sometimes useful.
For those that don't play, basically it's an online service that gives you points and virtual rewards for "checking in" at various places in your city. FourSquare has a web version, but it's most easily played using one of their many cell phone apps.
Points are awarded using some combination of whether it's a new place you've never been before, someplace off the beaten track, or someplace that no one has submitted to FourSquare yet. You seem to get more points for bars, clubs and restaurants than the drug store or the grocery, but I'm not sure. Beyond points, FourSquare awards "badges" for dubious distinctions like being "crunked" when you've been to more than one bar in one night.
And there's a social aspect as well. You can friend other players on FourSquare and see where they are going during their day. And as you get points and badges, you can compete with your friends to see who has achieved the most and get tips on where to go and what to do where you are at. It's all kind of useless and fun.
Last night while out with my friend Funksoup, we talked about the phenomenon of "Hindsquare". I.e. when you realize that were just at a place that you should have checked into FourSquare for the points, but didn't because you didn't have cell signal, forgot, was too drunk, or whatever. The worst form of hindsquare is when you get home after a long night and just check-in all the places you've been during the day at once.
So the question is: Is it cheating to check-in at a place when you aren't really there?
1 thought on ““Hindsquare”: The ethics of checking in on FourSquare when you aren’t actually there”
Guilty! Mostly because i started playing and then realized that there were really very few times when i was far enough from a computer to NEED to use the internet from my phone and canceled my data plan. I dunno… if other people are using it like I do (mostly just looking for interesting places twitter friends like that I might not know about), no big deal, right? But as with most things, I imagine my personal meaning isn’t universal. And it’s not popular enough yet here to have any drink specials riding on mayorships…