By Kimberly Reyes (@CommDuCoeur)
The answer to that question is a new Twitter client called Super Twario. We learned about this innovative new way to interact with Twitter via Martin Bryant at The Next Web, and now we’re going to dish on why we find it so interesting.
Super Twario is a mobile application that employs the same side-scrolling graphics as arcade video games and games designed for early at-home systems (as referenced in the tagline, “tweet like it’s 1989”). It is meant to be played on an iPhone, using the tap and tilt functionalities to navigate the player, represented by a little white bunny, around the map. Tweets are displayed as floating landmasses which the bunny can jump on and interact with, utilizing the same features as the regular Twitter client, such as replying, re-tweeting, and following links. The game is based on a score-based rewards system, where the user is awarded a certain amount of points for each action taken.
Earlier versions of Twitter games used an MMORPG-style approach, which may be more social than the one-person Super Twario, but also more prone to spam. With Super Twario, the player is challenged to interact with Twitter in the same way he or she would through the Twitter client itself, but is now driven to increase the level of engagement. Also, it’s worth mentioning that the retro interface will stir nostalgia in older users who feel alienated or confused by Twitter.
A common statistic on Twitter usage shows that the majority of people on Twitter are merely listening to the conversations, not having them. We also know that adoption is low and retention is even lower. For further research, here’s an excellent source of over a hundred need-to-know facts about Twitter. Games like Super Twario have the potential to change the current state of Twitter and make it both more widespread and more useful.
We all know the value of games in their ability to tap into our natural desire to compete. If most of the information on Twitter is useless garbage, but you want to earn points for being retweeted, wouldn’t you start posting some useful information? Adding your voice to compelling conversations? Actually reading the information that people post online? Here’s what Head First, the UK agency that created Super Twario had to say about its Twitter game: “What Super Twario does is show how different products (such as Twitter) can be approached in very different ways.” We love seeing this kind of innovation; that’s why we worked with Palio on creating The Health Tweeder, why we produced our award-winning TwatIf? series, and why we’ll continue to work internally on designing things that make people think and interact in new, exciting ways.
Think about what Head First did for Twitter with Super Twario; how can you make something that already exists more fun and engaging?