While staying up all-night in your mom’s basement, battling magical orcs and pounding Cheetos sounds awesome to some people:

most of us would rather meet up with friends and do fun stuff in the real-world.  Virtual worlds are dying.  Instead, we use status updates and check-ins to show off how awesome our first lives are:

Our yacht is incredible! Has its own pool, hot tub, movie theatre, recording studio, spa/massage room, gym, (cont) http://tl.gd/2jgpcsless than a minute ago via UberTwitter

Mobile, social, real-world games (like Foursquare, Gowalla and MyTown) haven’t hit the mainstream because the “games” aren’t all that fun and the right incentives aren’t there.  In other words, a mayorship and 10% off my next slurpee ain’t gonna cut it.  I want a game with rewards like the NYC Key to the City project, which:

…invests regular New Yorkers or anyone else who happens by with the powers of magnanimity usually reserved for the city’s highest officeholder: to bestow a key to New York on a person of their choice, granting extraordinary access to generally off-limits parts of a no-entry-to-unauthorized-personnel kind of city….

The key… opens locks at two dozen locations in the five boroughs, from the baptistry at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in Manhattan to a locker at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn to a very private and humble room (no spoilers) at the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Queens.

This is so awesome.  I imagine an augmented reality future where life is a game, the world is your board, and the points you accumulate for having fun can be redeemed for new experiences. I’m thinking a mobile web powered version of The Game.

Gaurav Mishra and I have recently been discussing these concepts and came up with an idea he coined as gttgthr.com (Get Togther).  He does a better job then I can of explaining it:

Step 1: You sign up using your Facebook ID and indicate your interest in joining different types of get-togethers: meet up for coffee, watch a movie, listen to live music, go shopping, learn how to dance etc.

Step 2: You browse through a list of awesome things to do in the city around your interests. Like Thrillist.

Step 3: You indicate that you will attend a proposed get-together, or suggest a venue for a proposed get-together, or propose a new get-together. Like Plancast.

Step 4: The system will connect you with [friends and] friends-of-friends who have also expressed an interest in attending similar get-togethers. Like Thread.

Step 5: Once a group has decided to attend a get together, they might get a surprise group deal offer from the venue. Like Living Social.

Step 6: Users can be designated hosts for venues, activities, or even cities. Like Foursquare.

After some debate we both felt that although this app had all the overhyped elements of group purchasing, game mechanics and FB/Foursquare APIs, it wasn’t “the one.” 

What do you think?  How can we leverage the mobile web to create fun, real world experiences?  Do you know of other companies like SCVNGR and Geocaching doing cool stuff in this space?

Related posts:

  1. Steal this Product Idea: Sign.al
  2. Steal this Product Idea #2
  3. Billion Dollar Business Idea
  4. An Intro to Social Data Portability
  5. The Razorfish Consumer Experience Report