New start-up Tengaged has modeled a social game after the popular reality series Big Brother. According to the Barcelona, Spain-based Tengaged, it represents the first “reality social network built around an eviction game like Big Brother.”
The game is very straightforward. When you sign up, Tengaged prompts you to create a cartoon-style avatar, reminiscent of Nintendo’s Miis. The avatars appear a bit bland — with limited customization options — so it shouldn’t take very long.
After you create your avatar, you are placed into a game with nine other players. Each game occurs during the course of seven days. At the end of each day, Tengaged nominates players for “eviction” based on its algorithm that detects player activity (posting blogs, comments, etc.). Other participants then ultimately vote their peers off the game.
Once voted off, most players may not join another game until the current one has ended. If you’re a good Tengaged citizen, however, you are not limited to one game necessarily. If players post positive comments, they earn “karma points,” which can eventually be used to play multiple games at once.
Since everything in Tengaged was built around this elimination concept at its core, the normal social networking interactions we see in other games have a secondary purpose. Yes, the more you do, the less likely you will be nominated for elimination, but Tengaged is mostly a popularity contest, plain and simple.
One interesting aspect of Tengaged is that the games are not limited to those created by the developer. Players can create their own niche user groups. Within these user groups, they can play unique games based on a specific concept chosen by moderators. These groups provide an extra level of interaction for Tengaged users.
Overall, Tengaged has utilized social networking capabilities in a unique way. Every action has a purpose because everything you do is judged. While you still interact and make friends, the game has an underlying factor of competition — and that’s not a bad thing.
The staying power of this Big Brother-style game is hard to predict. Since it was brought to our attention in January, Tengaged has been fairly active. We expect to see more features added so it may retain its existing user base, and perhaps attract more as well.