Sneha Mahale, Hindustan Times
February 06, 2013
First Published: 13:51 IST(6/2/2013)
Last Updated: 18:51 IST(18/2/2013)
For Aditya Dave, 26, a marketing executive, commuting to and from home is no longer a harried affair. He says, “I just log into my Twitter account and try to come up with new puns along the way. It helps my left brain think right.”
Dave’s latest addiction is the popular
Twitter-based game, Punsr, which is fast gaining popularity among netizens. It encourages people to pun on words and give their definition as well. “Using the game I have connected with several pun-loving people around the world. We have now started having one-on-one playoffs as well.”
What makes these games popular is the fact that they make you think innovatively. The 140 character restriction too works as a challenge. So it isn’t unusual that the more popular ones usually involve word play or trivia.
However, these games also have a limited shelf life because tweeple are always on the lookout for something new. For example, for a while ChessTweets was a rage online. It allowed people to play chess with someone on Twitter after logging in using their handles. You could then tweet your move. However, the fad faded soon.
The same is true for role-playing games, like 140blood or the word game, an Anagram Game. Anushree Sharma, 20, a college student, says, “The best games on Twitter are the impromptu ones, where you join the global community by just hashtagging a trending topic. You also get instant exposure.”
How do games go viral?
Since the dawn of Twitter, there have been a total of 163 billion tweets from half a billion registered profiles. Over 175 million tweets were sent every day in 2012. The average user has tweeted 307 times.
A friend’s suggestion works here too. Nearly 69 per cent of follows on Twitter are suggested by friends itself. And 26 per cent of retweets are provoked by a request to retweet. So that’s how a hashtag game goes viral.
Hashtag is the way France may have banned hashtags, but the popular # sign continues to rule the Twitter world. The most popular games tend to use the term.
Though most of the times hashtags are used as a promotional tools during a film’s release or to market a product, there are instances when they have just been used to start an impromptu game that fades away within a day. For example, #ICantGoOneDayWIthOut or #SablaNaari were trending yesterday as we went to press.
How it works: The game is all about playing on words. To play, tweet: #Punsr
WORD: Punny definition here. For example, #Punsr Universe: A single stanza. Puns are added to a dictionary on the website and the most retweeted player each week win $100.
Followers: Over 9,000
How it works: One of the oldest games on the social networking platform, this competition is out to change the world, one word at a time. Each day a new word is picked and the definition listed. Users then have to use it in a sentence. Earlier, a voting system existed to pick the most popular sentences, but it has been done away with.
Followers: Over 8,000
How it works: Which of these plants are not poisonous? Is it Dogwood, Anise or Houndstounge? If you know the answer, click on one of the answers. The more correct answers you give in topics ranging from science and pop culture to mathematic, and mythology, the higher your chances of snagging an Amazon gift certificate at the end of the week.
Followers: Over 27,000
How it works: It literally has the least user involvement. Each time you tweet (or retweet), your alter ego in the virtual world finds adventures, kills monsters or gets items. The massive
role-playing game ensures that even something as simple as a retweet or a mention could unlock a fireball or a battle axe on the virtual battlefield.
Followers: Over 3,000