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As you may remember from a piece that I wrote about Angry Birds last year, I am a games addict. Years ago, I used to stay up all night playing Pac Man, and then when I got my first iPhone, I played most versions of Angry Birds. I seem to play them intensely for a few months and then cannot go near them ever again. That was until Draw Something – a new phenomenon – where nearly everyone I know with an iPhone is playing. Draw Something, is a mobile app developed by OMGPOP and it has just won the Flurry App Spotlight Award. In the first five weeks after the launch, the game was downloaded 20 million times. Fifty days after its release, it had been downloaded a staggering 50 million times.
OMGPOP was founded in 2006 in NYC and makes a whole host of real time games. Millions of members log in every day to play games, hang out, chat and share photos. Every month billions of coins are spent on OMGPOP and every year they release at least five new games. Three years on, in 2009, the website was included on TIME Magazine’s list of the 50 Best Websites. The company received seed funding from Y Combinator during its early days as a startup and hey presto, last month both Draw Something and OMGPOP were bought by the game giant Zynga for US$180m.
Draw Something is quite simplistic. Two players alternate turns between drawing a picture for the other to guess. The person drawing chooses one of three guess words to draw. Each player earns one to three coins if the drawing is guessed correctly, which build up to eventually allow the player to purchase more shades of colour for drawing. After the ‘artist’ has finished drawing, the guesser will view an instant replay of the drawing, minus hesitation and delays. The guesser is given a number of blank spaces and scrambled letters to type the guess word.
The two interesting aspects for me are that it is played through Facebook and it is a way of communicating with another person instead of playing a game in isolation. It does not have much of a competitive edge to it, nor is it in any way aggressive which is a relief! If you are not Drawing Something, get a move on! firstname.lastname@example.org
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