SCVNGR is essentially a physical location-based communal game that connects social media with the offline world.

“Chief Ninja” Seth Priebatsch breaks down the mechanics as “go places, do challenges, and earn points” to unlock rewards. [VIDEO at bottom of the article]

Below is an example.

1. Go places: Players go to a burrito shop.

2. Do challenges: Players take a photo of the burrito shop and Tweet it. According to the intent of SCVNGR, the challenges are suppose to be fun and involve the players’ friends.

3. Earn points: Players gets 2 points for taking the photo and Tweeting it.

4. Unlock rewards: When players accumulate 6 points, the burrito shop gives them a free burrito.

For a business to create a SCVNGR, the mechanics are: name one’s location, create challenges, decide how many points each challenge is worth, and decide on what rewards to give. [VIDEO at bottom of the article]

Why is it commercially viable?

One, it targets players within the proximity of the businesses.

Two, it gets them physically inside the store. This is no trivial matter for businesses. Stores often advertise and sell certain items at a loss in order to get customers to come. Their hope is to make money off the additional purchases of the customers. Similar, reportedly sells diapers at a loss but remains profitable by making money on all the add-on purchases (baby toys, formula, etc.)

Three, some of these challenges prompt players to share about the place/product on their social networks, thereby advertising it to their friends.

Four, through the unlocked rewards, businesses can get customers to sample their products. If they’re truly good, customers should return.

SCVNGR’s vision is more than just being a digital location-based advertising platform, however. During a SXSW presentation, “Chief Ninja” Seth Priebatsch claimed SCVNGR will help solve big problems like global warming by tapping into the motivation of the masses.

SCVNGR said the method to motivate them is through a gaming platform that keeps scores and rewards points.

For example, a challenge can be cleaning up inner cities, players can get points for picking up trash and somehow verifying and quantifying it, and then the results can be ranked to see which players cleaned the most.

Instructions for players:

Instructions for creators: