Playing with 140
  Characters:
  Designing Twitter Games

                        Mike Edwards      John Sharp
           ...
Let’s play
              a game
#playing140characters
colors
              To play, exchange cards with
              any other player next to you.

              When you take...
Game-ness
              Rules & play




#playing140characters
Game-ness




#playing140characters
Game-ness
              Rules & play




#playing140characters
Game-ness
              Rules & play

              Embracing constraints




#playing140characters
Game-ness
              Rules & play

              Embracing constraints

              Parts and wholes




#playing140c...
Game-ness
              Rules & play

              Embracing constraints

              Parts and wholes

              S...
What is Twitter?
              NOT
              "The SMS of the Internet"
              -Leslie D'Monte, April 29, 2009
 ...
#playing140characters
Anatomy of a Tweet




#playing140characters
Anatomy of a Tweet




               CORE
               tweeter, 140 character message, profile
               image

   ...
Anatomy of a Tweet




              USER INFO
              name, bio, URL, location
#playing140characters
Nouns & Verbs




#playing140characters
Nouns
              Nouns & Verbs
Tweeters
Tweets
Hashtags
Mentions
Twitterfall




#playing140characters
Nouns
              Nouns & Verbs
Tweeters
Tweets
Hashtags
Mentions
Twitterfall
Followers




#playing140characters
Nouns
              Nouns & Verbs
Tweeters
Tweets
Hashtags
Mentions
Twitterfall
Followers
Lists




#playing140characters
Nouns
              Nouns & Verbs
Tweeters
Tweets
Hashtags
Mentions
Twitterfall
Followers
Lists

Verbs
Tweet




#playing1...
Nouns
                 Nouns & Verbs
Tweeters
Tweets
Hashtags
Mentions
Twitterfall
Followers
Lists

Verbs
Tweet
Direct Mes...
Nouns
                 Nouns & Verbs
Tweeters
Tweets
Hashtags
Mentions
Twitterfall
Followers
Lists

Verbs
Tweet
Direct Mes...
Nouns
                 Nouns & Verbs
Tweeters
Tweets
Hashtags
Mentions
Twitterfall
Followers
Lists

Verbs
Tweet
Direct Mes...
Nouns
                 Nouns & Verbs
Tweeters
Tweets
Hashtags
Mentions
Twitterfall
Followers
Lists

Verbs
Tweet
Direct Mes...
twitter taxonomy




#playing140characters
twitter taxonomy
                            Platform
                          Twitbrain, Twivial,
                      ...
twitter taxonomy
                            Platform
                          Twitbrain, Twivial,
                      ...
twitter taxonomy
                            Platform
                          Twitbrain, Twivial,
                      ...
twitter taxonomy
                            Platform
                          Twitbrain, Twivial,
                      ...
Nouns
                 Broadcast
Tweeters
Tweets
Hashtags
Mentions
Twitterfall
Followers
Lists

Verbs
Tweet
Direct Message...
Nouns
                 Broadcast
Tweeters
Tweets
Hashtags
Mentions
Twitterfall
Followers
Lists

Verbs
Tweet
Direct Message...
Nouns
                 Broadcast
Tweeters
Tweets
Hashtags
Mentions
Twitterfall
Followers
Lists

Verbs
Tweet
Direct Message...
Nouns
                 Broadcast
Tweeters
Tweets
Hashtags
Mentions
Twitterfall
Followers
Lists

Verbs
Tweet
Direct Message...
Platform

                        Platform




#playing140characters
Platform

                        Platform




#playing140characters
Platform

                        Platform



          minigame                 MMO-style


#playing140characters
Nouns
                 Platform:minigames
Tweeters
Tweets
Hashtags
Mentions
Twitterfall
Followers
Lists

Verbs
Tweet
Direc...
Nouns
                 Platform:minigames
Tweeters
Tweets
Hashtags
Mentions
Twitterfall
Followers
Lists

Verbs
Tweet
Direc...
Nouns
                 Platform:minigames
Tweeters
Tweets
Hashtags
Mentions
Twitterfall
Followers
Lists

Verbs
Tweet
Direc...
Nouns
                 Platform:mmo-style
Tweeters
Tweets
Hashtags
Mentions
Twitterfall
Followers
Lists

Verbs
Tweet
Direc...
Nouns
                 Platform:mmo-style
Tweeters
Tweets
Hashtags
Mentions
Twitterfall
Followers
Lists

Verbs
Tweet
Direc...
Nouns
                 Platform:mmo-style
Tweeters
Tweets
Hashtags
Mentions
Twitterfall
Followers
Lists

Verbs
Tweet
Direc...
Nouns
                 Platform:mmo-style
Tweeters
Tweets
Hashtags
Mentions
Twitterfall
Followers
Lists

Verbs
Tweet
Direc...
Nouns
                 Platform:mmo-style
Tweeters
Tweets
Hashtags
Mentions
Twitterfall
Followers
Lists

Verbs
Tweet
Direc...
Nouns
                 SPAM
Tweeters
Tweets
Hashtags
Mentions
Twitterfall
Followers
Lists

Verbs
Tweet
Direct Message
Foll...
Nouns
                 SPAM
Tweeters
Tweets
Hashtags
Mentions
Twitterfall
Followers
Lists

Verbs
Tweet
Direct Message
Foll...
Nouns
                 SPAM
Tweeters
Tweets
Hashtags
Mentions
Twitterfall
Followers
Lists

Verbs
Tweet
Direct Message
Foll...
Nouns
                 Twitterverse
Tweeters
Tweets
Hashtags
Mentions
Twitterfall
Followers
Lists

Verbs
Tweet
Direct Mess...
Nouns
                 Twitterverse
Tweeters
Tweets
Hashtags
Mentions
Twitterfall
Followers
Lists

Verbs
Tweet
Direct Mess...
Tools
              Search API
              by term
              by @name
              by #hashtag




#playing140chara...
Tools
              REST API
              Direct Messages
              Friends and Followers




#playing140characters
Tools
     social network graphs
     nodes
     edges
     centrality
     betweenness




#playing140characters
EIGENVECTO
  R
  CENTRALITY
#playing140characters
#playing140characters
#playing140characters
HITS Algorithm
              (hyperlink-induced topic search)




                        HUBS               AUTHORITIES

...
NEW YORK CITY




#playing140characters
#playing140characters
BRONX
              MANHATTAN
              STATEN ISLAND
              QUEEKLYN



#playing140characters
#playing140characters
#playing140characters
#playing140characters
#playing140characters
Twitter-native game




#playing140characters
Twitter-native game
              140-character word games




#playing140characters
Twitter-native game
              140-character word games
              true trans-media interaction




#playing140chara...
Twitter-native game
              140-character word games
              true trans-media interaction
              lifest...
Twitter-native game
              140-character word games
              true trans-media interaction
              lifest...
Thank you!
                        Mike Edwards      John Sharp
                        @mike_j_edwards   @jofsharp


    ...
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Playing w/ 140 Characters

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Twitter: a strange new platform for games. In this panel, the design collective Local No. 12 discusses how they have learned to work within the tight constraints of Twitter, while exploring new forms of gameplay and social interaction. This session will cover the state of games on Twitter, what has and hasn't worked, and best practices for creating games for this platform.

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  • after a thorough analysis of all the games out in the wild on twitter, we found three types and one tendency
  • after a thorough analysis of all the games out in the wild on twitter, we found three types and one tendency
  • after a thorough analysis of all the games out in the wild on twitter, we found three types and one tendency
  • after a thorough analysis of all the games out in the wild on twitter, we found three types and one tendency
  • gowalla is a good example of a game (or more precisely, an achievement structure) that uses twitter not as its core platform, but as a broadcast channel
    each time you check in to a location, you have the option to post to twitter

  • gowalla is a good example of a game (or more precisely, an achievement structure) that uses twitter not as its core platform, but as a broadcast channel
    each time you check in to a location, you have the option to post to twitter

  • foursquare is another example, similar to goal. here you see how it reports to Julian Bleeker’s twitter fall

    these “games” were waiting for iphones to come along
  • twitter games using twitter as a core platform of gameplay break out into two genres
    mini-games based on common forms such as trivia, quiz, word scramble are single player games - you could call them a-social

    these all stay within twitter, don’t rely on adding friends, often use direct messaging to keep spam under control. They usually rely on an external site for leaderboards and that’s about it.

    massively multiplayer or MMOP style games use the twitter platform as a pervasive social structure to build content out of
  • twitter games using twitter as a core platform of gameplay break out into two genres
    mini-games based on common forms such as trivia, quiz, word scramble are single player games - you could call them a-social

    these all stay within twitter, don’t rely on adding friends, often use direct messaging to keep spam under control. They usually rely on an external site for leaderboards and that’s about it.

    massively multiplayer or MMOP style games use the twitter platform as a pervasive social structure to build content out of
  • trivial and other minigames use the 140 character limit of twitter to provide episodic trivia questions
    players simply follow the game, and provide direct messages to guess on answers. they are very self-contained

  • twitbrain provides a little more feedback, responding to players with the winner name for the last challenge.
  • word scramble

  • spymaster is probably the best known twitter game -- and that’s because new players often didn’t adjust their setting to keep tweet spam under control. As people play the game, updates go out to all of their followers, creating a viral expansion of players.
  • 140 mafia, a take on the facebook game mafia wars gives rewards for players who keep their tweet broadcasts on. here we see an income increase for turning on tweet broadcasts

    these games also depend on recruiting members to one’s team/mob
  • they rely on quick level ups and simple button-press gameplay to appeal to a wide range of players - and recruiting and spamming your followers - who will quickly become unfollowers


  • gameplay takes place on a website - with twitter used as a broadcast channel, feedback mechanism and a social network. it’s more integrated into the social structures of twitter than the broadcast-type of twitter game, using more of the nouns and verbs
  • the 140 blood series is another example of the mmo-style game 4 games with a very similar structure and slight difference in terms of setting and game assets
  • one of the biggest controversies about this game is that it took control of player’s tweets, automatically spamming out of player’s accounts
  • this is a real example of a social uncanny valley - where eric zimmerman becomes eric zimmerbot

    140 blood was initially on facebook - and quickly banned because of these tactics
  • now the twitterfall from 140blood players is a bit more tame - reporting out gameplay.
  • the earlier quote from Evan Williams about twitter as an information network - not a social network is explored in games using the twitterverse. Mining the frequency of words, using the search api, generates games built on data - dataplay

    to play twirdy playes off the twitterverse by equating the length of a drive with a popular word at that time. as you get closer to the hole you want to use smaller clubs - or less tweeted words to modify the length of the hit


  • backchatter leverages conference and event backchannels in a parimutuel betting system, where players bet on words they think will be popular in the upcoming session - like betting on horses in an upcoming race




















  • Playing w/ 140 Characters

    1. 1. Playing with 140 Characters: Designing Twitter Games Mike Edwards John Sharp @mike_j_edwards @jofsharp Colleen Macklin Eric Zimmerman @colleenmacklin @zimmermaneric @localno12 www.localno12.com #playing140characters
    2. 2. Let’s play a game #playing140characters
    3. 3. colors To play, exchange cards with any other player next to you. When you take a card, you must also give a card to the same player. At the end, the largest group of adjacent color players wins. #playing140characters
    4. 4. Game-ness Rules & play #playing140characters
    5. 5. Game-ness #playing140characters
    6. 6. Game-ness Rules & play #playing140characters
    7. 7. Game-ness Rules & play Embracing constraints #playing140characters
    8. 8. Game-ness Rules & play Embracing constraints Parts and wholes #playing140characters
    9. 9. Game-ness Rules & play Embracing constraints Parts and wholes Strange identities #playing140characters
    10. 10. What is Twitter? NOT "The SMS of the Internet" -Leslie D'Monte, April 29, 2009   IS "[It's] not a social network... it's an information network"  -Evan Williams, October 21, 2009 #playing140characters
    11. 11. #playing140characters
    12. 12. Anatomy of a Tweet #playing140characters
    13. 13. Anatomy of a Tweet CORE tweeter, 140 character message, profile image EXTENDED time stamp, tool, reply to, location data #playing140characters
    14. 14. Anatomy of a Tweet USER INFO name, bio, URL, location #playing140characters
    15. 15. Nouns & Verbs #playing140characters
    16. 16. Nouns Nouns & Verbs Tweeters Tweets Hashtags Mentions Twitterfall #playing140characters
    17. 17. Nouns Nouns & Verbs Tweeters Tweets Hashtags Mentions Twitterfall Followers #playing140characters
    18. 18. Nouns Nouns & Verbs Tweeters Tweets Hashtags Mentions Twitterfall Followers Lists #playing140characters
    19. 19. Nouns Nouns & Verbs Tweeters Tweets Hashtags Mentions Twitterfall Followers Lists Verbs Tweet #playing140characters
    20. 20. Nouns Nouns & Verbs Tweeters Tweets Hashtags Mentions Twitterfall Followers Lists Verbs Tweet Direct Message #playing140characters
    21. 21. Nouns Nouns & Verbs Tweeters Tweets Hashtags Mentions Twitterfall Followers Lists Verbs Tweet Direct Message Follow Unfollow Mention Block Report #playing140characters
    22. 22. Nouns Nouns & Verbs Tweeters Tweets Hashtags Mentions Twitterfall Followers Lists Verbs Tweet Direct Message Follow Unfollow Mention Block Report Retweet Reply Favorite #playing140characters
    23. 23. Nouns Nouns & Verbs Tweeters Tweets Hashtags Mentions Twitterfall Followers Lists Verbs Tweet Direct Message Follow Unfollow Mention Block Report Retweet Reply Favorite Search #playing140characters
    24. 24. twitter taxonomy #playing140characters
    25. 25. twitter taxonomy Platform Twitbrain, Twivial, tweet140, Spymaster, 140Mafia, Passthegun #playing140characters
    26. 26. twitter taxonomy Platform Twitbrain, Twivial, tweet140, Spymaster, 140Mafia, Passthegun Broadcast Foursquare, Gowalla, Mafia Wars #playing140characters
    27. 27. twitter taxonomy Platform Twitbrain, Twivial, tweet140, Spymaster, 140Mafia, Passthegun Broadcast Twitterverse Foursquare, Backchatter, Gowalla, Mafia Wars Twirdie, whosetweet #playing140characters
    28. 28. twitter taxonomy Platform Twitbrain, Twivial, tweet140, Spymaster, 140Mafia, Passthegun Broadcast Twitterverse Foursquare, Backchatter, Gowalla, Mafia Wars Twirdie, whosetweet Spam (some of the above...) #playing140characters
    29. 29. Nouns Broadcast Tweeters Tweets Hashtags Mentions Twitterfall Followers Lists Verbs Tweet Direct Message Follow Unfollow Mention Block Report Retweet Reply Favorite Search #playing140characters
    30. 30. Nouns Broadcast Tweeters Tweets Hashtags Mentions Twitterfall Followers Lists Verbs Tweet Direct Message Follow Unfollow Mention Block Report Retweet Reply Favorite Search #playing140characters
    31. 31. Nouns Broadcast Tweeters Tweets Hashtags Mentions Twitterfall Followers Lists Verbs Tweet Direct Message Follow Unfollow Mention Block Report Retweet Reply Favorite Search #playing140characters
    32. 32. Nouns Broadcast Tweeters Tweets Hashtags Mentions Twitterfall Followers Lists Verbs Tweet Direct Message Follow Unfollow Mention Block Report Retweet Reply Favorite Search #playing140characters
    33. 33. Platform Platform #playing140characters
    34. 34. Platform Platform #playing140characters
    35. 35. Platform Platform minigame MMO-style #playing140characters
    36. 36. Nouns Platform:minigames Tweeters Tweets Hashtags Mentions Twitterfall Followers Lists Verbs Tweet Direct Message Follow Unfollow Mention Block Report Retweet Reply Favorite Search #playing140characters
    37. 37. Nouns Platform:minigames Tweeters Tweets Hashtags Mentions Twitterfall Followers Lists Verbs Tweet Direct Message Follow Unfollow Mention Block Report Retweet Reply Favorite Search #playing140characters
    38. 38. Nouns Platform:minigames Tweeters Tweets Hashtags Mentions Twitterfall Followers Lists Verbs Tweet Direct Message Follow Unfollow Mention Block Report Retweet Reply Favorite Search #playing140characters
    39. 39. Nouns Platform:mmo-style Tweeters Tweets Hashtags Mentions Twitterfall Followers Lists Verbs Tweet Direct Message Follow Unfollow Mention Block Report Retweet Reply Favorite Search #playing140characters
    40. 40. Nouns Platform:mmo-style Tweeters Tweets Hashtags Mentions Twitterfall Followers Lists Verbs Tweet Direct Message Follow Unfollow Mention Block Report Retweet Reply Favorite Search #playing140characters
    41. 41. Nouns Platform:mmo-style Tweeters Tweets Hashtags Mentions Twitterfall Followers Lists Verbs Tweet Direct Message Follow Unfollow Mention Block Report Retweet Reply Favorite Search #playing140characters
    42. 42. Nouns Platform:mmo-style Tweeters Tweets Hashtags Mentions Twitterfall Followers Lists Verbs Tweet Direct Message Follow Unfollow Mention Block Report Retweet Reply Favorite Search #playing140characters
    43. 43. Nouns Platform:mmo-style Tweeters Tweets Hashtags Mentions Twitterfall Followers Lists Verbs Tweet Direct Message Follow Unfollow Mention Block Report Retweet Reply Favorite Search #playing140characters
    44. 44. Nouns SPAM Tweeters Tweets Hashtags Mentions Twitterfall Followers Lists Verbs Tweet Direct Message Follow Unfollow Mention Block Report Retweet Reply Favorite Search #playing140characters
    45. 45. Nouns SPAM Tweeters Tweets Hashtags Mentions Twitterfall Followers Lists Verbs Tweet Direct Message Follow Unfollow Mention Block Report Retweet Reply Favorite Search #playing140characters
    46. 46. Nouns SPAM Tweeters Tweets Hashtags Mentions Twitterfall Followers Lists Verbs Tweet Direct Message Follow Unfollow Mention Block Report Retweet Reply Favorite Search #playing140characters
    47. 47. Nouns Twitterverse Tweeters Tweets Hashtags Mentions Twitterfall Followers Lists Verbs Tweet Direct Message Follow Unfollow Mention Block Report Retweet Reply Favorite Search #playing140characters
    48. 48. Nouns Twitterverse Tweeters Tweets Hashtags Mentions Twitterfall Followers Lists Verbs Tweet Direct Message Follow Unfollow Mention Block Report Retweet Reply Favorite Search #playing140characters
    49. 49. Tools Search API by term by @name by #hashtag #playing140characters
    50. 50. Tools REST API Direct Messages Friends and Followers #playing140characters
    51. 51. Tools social network graphs nodes edges centrality betweenness #playing140characters
    52. 52. EIGENVECTO R CENTRALITY #playing140characters
    53. 53. #playing140characters
    54. 54. #playing140characters
    55. 55. HITS Algorithm (hyperlink-induced topic search) HUBS AUTHORITIES #playing140characters
    56. 56. NEW YORK CITY #playing140characters
    57. 57. #playing140characters
    58. 58. BRONX MANHATTAN STATEN ISLAND QUEEKLYN #playing140characters
    59. 59. #playing140characters
    60. 60. #playing140characters
    61. 61. #playing140characters
    62. 62. #playing140characters
    63. 63. Twitter-native game #playing140characters
    64. 64. Twitter-native game 140-character word games #playing140characters
    65. 65. Twitter-native game 140-character word games true trans-media interaction #playing140characters
    66. 66. Twitter-native game 140-character word games true trans-media interaction lifestyle integration #playing140characters
    67. 67. Twitter-native game 140-character word games true trans-media interaction lifestyle integration bona fide social gameplay #playing140characters
    68. 68. Thank you! Mike Edwards John Sharp @mike_j_edwards @jofsharp Colleen Macklin Eric Zimmerman @colleenmacklin @zimmermaneric @localno12 www.localno12.com #playing140characters

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