Google+ is a Game

So, I’ve seen a lot of the Empire Avenue community spending more time (like myself) in Google+ since its launch. This hasn’t diminished the value of EAv for me, but it likely should force the evolution of the Avenue into multiple lanes. Why couldn’t people choose their own adventure there? Only the first lane would be “the game.”

  • Lane One: for those who wish to continue down the path of Empire Avenue as it is currently paved. The features here should likely be frozen to make way for further development on other lanes.
  • Lane Two: for people who only want to see their social media scores and collect stats on them (ala Klout).
  • Lane Three: like Lane Two, but for brands who wish to see how current registrants are interacting with them.

In other words, I’m guessing that all most Empire Avenue users would want to see is this – coupled with richer statistics and suggestions on how to increase those scores (is something that I can help with):

At this time, I’m earning ~300,000e every day with my portfolio, and my stock is well on its way to 300e per share – so it’s not like I am suggesting a radical transformation because I feel I’m personally slipping. I see bits of the community slipping away to another game: Google+.

The achievements? Connections. The levels? Attention. The score? Credibility.

I’m not suggesting that Google has developed Plus to be a game – just that for any community or social network to drive addiction, the system must continually reward us for our behaviors. We post something, people comment and share. We comment somewhere, people respond to us. Even if you’re someone who loves to lurk, Google+ should prove to be an amazing idea exchange.

I know that some people don’t like Google+ already (although I’m a bit baffled by the logic that Plus would be the first place where cliques exist or insider information is shared). But things are definitely happening here – even with a fraction of users compared to Twitter or Facebook today, the number of engaged users on Google Plus appears to be higher due to how content is surfaced in the system. I feel more connected to others on Google Plus.

Due to a severe lack of time in the day (and night), I am usually drawn to one “entertainment” outlet over another. What brought me to and kept me in Empire Avenue was knowing that it was satiating curiosities – and was fun. That fun factor hasn’t worn off, but it’s been outshined by the fun of Plus.

Empire Avenue was already ripe for a reinvention of itself, but that reinvention seemingly needs to happen sooner rather than later. The team can drive that change forward with new lanes, given EAv’s powerful data collection engine driving the Stock Exchange. Some passionate players are already begging them to integrate Google+ data – which is very telling.

I can’t be the only Empire Avenue addict who is looking for a change – and this evolution would also likely address the standing issues people have had with the platform (learning curve, time requirements, communication challenges, etc.).