Monday, October 19, 2009

Twitter Enters Unchartered Territory

OK, so I’m not a gamer by any stretch. My gaming development basically stopped with Super Mario 3. Nevertheless, there’s a PS3 in my apartment, which threatens to take over my life.

We just got
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, a ridiculously engaging action-adventure sequel to the 2007 issue of Uncharted: Drakes Fortune. Even if you have the faintest interest in video games, you owe it to yourself to check this out.

Putting the game itself aside for a second, what really stands out to me is the Twitter integration.
According to, Uncharted 2 is the first PlayStation 3 game to link directly to the microblogging utility.

As players progress through the game, they unlock various clues, pick up trophies and hit key milestones. With the Twitter integration, the PS3 can automatically tweet your progress throughout the game – or even alert followers that you’ve entered multi-player mode, cuing them to join the game.

It’s a neat concept, but not without its downside. predicted it would become a “major annoyance” with game-related tweets and Naughty Dog, the game’s developer temporarily suspended the Twitter services when its reviewers were flooded with tweets before the game even publicly launched.

Despite the volume of tweets, integrating automatic Twitter updates into your daily life has its own hazards. With the personal and professional lines blurring, colleagues and friends may be following your Twitter feed. Call off sick to play Uncharted, and you’re busted. You’re not going to find me tweeting progress as I explore the jungles of Borneo looking for Marco Polo’s lost ships. Just saying.

Even while three quarters of
Americans object to online tracking by advertisers, we seem to be increasingly open to tracking ourselves at every minute of the day. Uncharted is just one example, but it’s a reminder that everyone around us has more visibility into our daily lives – not matter how much you try to control it.

Either way, as the business of social media finds its way, this could be worth a second look as an interesting way to monetize utilities like Twitter and Facebook – something both sites have struggled with for a while. But that’s a post for another time …

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