Foursquare Social Gaming Comes to London – Earn Points and Badges by Eating, Drinking and Partying Round the Capital

Foursquare logoFoursquare has announced that it’s bringing its location-based social networking game here to London.

The service that started in March awards points and badges for experiencing things in certain locations and is apparently quite the hit over in the USA but remains pretty much unknown on this side of the pond.

Foursquare is a location service-based social network/game.

It’s kinda what would happen if you mashed up Google Lattitude with a pinch of Facebook, a teaspoon of Twitter, a drop of Qype and perhaps a little splash of any particular online multiplayer game that suits your taste.

In effect it’ll tell you where your friends are and help add a little extra fun to going out around the city and you can play via iPhone and Android apps as well as a web interface for other devices.

The only other Euro city that will be getting Foursquare at the mo is Amsterdam.

How this thing works is centred around “checking-in“.

You can check-in from any kind of nightspot, watering hole or eatery and it allows you to drop a quickie message about where you are and what you’re doing (kinda Twitter/Facebook update stylee) and the system will then register what you’re up to.

Friends will then get a message to let them know your whereabouts and what you’re doing so that they can either come and hook up with you or be thankful that you’re somewhere else whilst they’re talking about your “little problem”.

The other side of this deal is when you can’t face another night of reality TV or shooting things on your console you can have a nosey at what your mates are doing and crash their party – the one you weren’t invited to because of the innocent incident involving the yukka plant, the twin sisters your best friend arrived with and the cheese sauce.

It will also allow you to create a to-do-list of places you’ve always wanted to go and add to a Top 12 list of your recommendations for other people.

The gaming element is that you get points for checking-in.

This obviously makes things competitive (in a fun way) and also gets the system running and keeps people coming back. You get a point for checking in, you get five points if it happens to be from a place you’ve never checked-in from before; a further point if it’s the second, third, fourth etc place of the evening; and another still for checking-in multiple nights in a row – yup: score points on that pub crawl!!  There’s another excuse for you right there folks 😉

You can only get points for checking-in outside of work hours, much to your bosses relief – but you’re always eligible for the five discovery points no matter what time of day it is. RAH!

There’s a leader board of the top 12 rankers (I said RANKERS!) and if you check-in from the same place more times and more regularly than anyone else you could get crowned Mayor of that gaff on the site.

You can also earn badges when you check-in – similar to the achievements in World of Warcraft and Left4Dead.

There’s badges for the number of times you’ve checked-in to new establishments from Newbie up to Superstar and then a whole gamut of other seemingly random titles to win. The dev team are working on more and taking suggestions for all sorts of new badges.

While you’re playing there’s a more serious side……

It sounds all very fun but while you’re being crowned as an alcoholic/Mayor of The Intrepid Fox the owners of the service are gathering data that should help identify the best spots to go in the cities that Foursquare is played.

Think of the content that Qype produces and you can see the power.

Could we start to see Foursquare badges displayed in the window of our favourite boozers and restaurants in the future? With all that data the options are open to what’s done with it or who it’s sold on to.

If you want to have a go nip over to the site and sign up with a free profile that will obviously as you for your mobile number so it can ping you with what your friends are doing.

Before you do so just make sure that you’re in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas / Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis / St. Paul, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C. and now London!

Oh and if you’re not using the app for Android, iPhone and the ones soon to drop for BlackBerry and the Palm Prea – just make sure that you have a kind and decent SMS package on your price plan else you may not have the cash for your round.

Seeing as London has made a reputation for itself as being the Twitter capital perhaps Foursquare will be welcomed likewise.  One person that’s banking on such popularity is none-other than Digg founder Kevin Rose who has chipped in with some investment.

It has lots going for it –  It’s not like you can ever be short of things to do in London – if you’re unsure about where to go or what to see there’s always the Spoonfed and apps to help you out 😉

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