(2010) The game for closet sociopaths
Feckr is an Android application that allows you to secretly “tag” people with messages. Tags are anonymous, permanent and public – every Feckr player can see all the tags for people around them. Unless they also play Feckr, your victims will never know what you really think of them.
The only problem: Feckr is scattershot – when you create a new tag, it gets applied to everyone nearby, whether you mean it or not.
More information about Feckr is available on the website, www.feckr.me. The application itself is available for free on the Android Marketplace.
Feckr was made to explore mischief with technology for playful experiences. The concept explores the idea of using mobile phones as a co-conspirator in naughty fun at the expense of strangers, who remain unaware of the existence of the game. It aims to challenge the assumption that HCI should be always study noble and positive applications – and that mischief as an important social force is equally important.
As a game it builds on my interest in social mischief (see my presentation at FROG in 2009). I’m really interested in the way games provide looser social rules that allow people to play around with social acceptability. I like that Feckr offers this slight “veneer” of gameyness that gives players permission to be rude about real people, in ways that they would never do to their face.
It’s also cool they way tags are publicly shared between players. There’s a secret club of Feckr players sniping strangers all around you. This works particularly well in social events like conferences – you get to bitch about people for every ridiculous reason, and share the fun with an anonymous cabal of other conference goers.
I introducted Feckr at MobileHCI 2010 in Lisbon, Portugal.
The workshop paper is freely available:
The accompanying presentation about Feckr is available online: