The alarm clock as an MMO game?
Most of us use alarm clocks, but something about them feels broken. Sure, the alarm will ring at exactly the right time, but after being disturbed from a long nights rest, we just want to go back to sleep, so we hit snooze – and we all know how that plays out.
The problem with the alarm clock is that there’s no obvious incentive to get up. At least no incentive that we can readily perceive in our morning mutant states. Breakfast in bed or the smell of freshly brewed coffee will usually do the trick. However, in the absence of such bounty, perhaps there are a few things we can try as a substitute.
What if we turned the alarm clock into a massive multiplayer online game? My reckoning is that at any given moment there are at least a few million people on this earth waking up to an alarm clock. The habit –usually the hardest part when building a product– is already there, it’s just waiting to be experimented with. Here’s how it might work.
Open the app. Set your alarm time. The app will now pair you with another player who wishes to wake at the same time – and that’s it, the game is set. To prevent people from cheating, you can’t exit the app. If you exit the app the game will end and you’ll be forced to forfeit the points of the round to your opponent.
When the alarm rolls around you’ll both be alerted with a task/game to complete. The games will vary every morning and will generally take about 30 – 60 seconds to complete. You gain points for every battle you win and bonus points if you achieve a streak of wins.
Games could include:
- Find an international city on a map. (Maps integration, with no search.)
- Answer a trivia question.
- Spot the difference.
- Move your phone as far from its current location as possible within the next 60 seconds.
- Most taps on the screen within a 30 second period.
- Identify a song. (iTunes integration)
- Solve a simple math equation.
- Transcribe an audio sentence.
- and so on..
The game could be a lot more interesting with leader-boards, crazier game types, and various other social mechanisms. Perhaps you could play the same person everyday, if you both wished? This is just a silly idea.
I’d use it, would you?
Let’s make it happen.