It’s the second time I get to Cologne in order to report on the Gamescom trade show and once again I am impressed by how foreign a city can be to the traveler, even if its culture, economics and politics are similar to that of the place I hail from: Bucharest, Romania.
In the spirit of the Game Ideas diary that I kept for E3 2012 earlier during the year, I plan to do the same for Gamescom and my first idea is for a social-driven game based on the experience of discovering a new city.
My provisional name for the game is: Blitz City Assault (designed to attract the medium violence and military-obsessed gamer).
The idea is that for each included city a cohort of inhabitants band together and create a list of the major attractions, ranging from cultural hotspots to little known beer halls, nightclubs, fast food joints and everything else that anyone can see or experience in that area.
The list is then split into categories and each visitor coming to the city can choose one and attempt to see and experience as many of them as possible (maybe subcategories can be created for stays of varied length).
Blitz City Assault is a good potential example of what gamification can offer, turning an experience that is available for an increasing number of people into a simple game, where anyone can compare his results to those of his friends or to other categories that visited the same city or had the same interests.
It would work best on mobile devices or tied into a web page which already offers services or ideas linked to tourism.
My present stay in Koln would probably deny me a high score, seeing how I will only be here for four days and all of them will be dominated by video games presentations and interviews.