Willy nilly

On Friday I spoke for two minutes at Playful 2010 about how one should conduct oneself on Foursquare. At least a single person has asked for the text of my brief talk, so here it is:

My fellow gamers of Great Britain.

We live in a confusing age. In this twenty first century, some carefree individuals have been using the Foursquare to check in to their own homes. Checking in to their own homes in order to score points.

We, as Britons, must resist such unsportsmanlike behaviour. All of us are able to go home. Where is the challenge in that? It is like hitting a six simply for strapping on your pads. Or winning by a knockout merely by pulling on your gloves. Such behaviour would be laughable were it not a betrayal of the game, of our fellow competitors, of Her Majesty the Queen.

These cheaters will say that we should be proud of our homes, of our castles. I say yes, we should be proud. But we must also be discreet. We are, after all, British! Some things should remain private, behind closed doors, not shared with friends and family.

Some people say this is a “grey area”. Some people say that the boundaries aren’t clear. Some people say we may as well check in anywhere and everywhere, hither and yon, willy and nilly. This is GREAT BRITAIN! We did not build this country on willy nilly!

This is not the time for grey areas.
This is not the time for compromise.
This is not the time for… appeasement.

Friends. Followers. Contacts. We must be strong. We must be resilient. We must cherish and protect those things we hold most dear. Our Britishness. Our sportsmanship. Our keeping ourselves to ourselves.

Do NOT check in at home. Thank you.

I am happy to report that those assembled voted almost unanimously in favour of my suggestion. Checking in at home is, therefore, strictly forbidden.


  • I suppose this is me not really getting into the game aspect, but my rule has always been "If you have beer in your hand, and you don't mind people joining you, you're allowed to check into foursquare". So yes, checking into home when you get back from work and you're just going to watch TV is useless, both to the game and for the social aspect. Same with your office.

    But if a night happens to end up at my flat with a few friends, and I'm seeing a few more friends are local, I'm not going to sacrifice the chance of growing the party just because some people will tut at me being mayor of my own home.

    Maybe I should now be banished to Facebook Places forever.

  • [At the risk of breaking character, I don't really care who checks in to what, although the interface needs to cope better with the clutter of peoples' homes and trains and buses etc. Do what you like. These days I only use Foursquare as a personal metadata collection tool.]

  • Not even mentioning the widely discussed fact that by checking in your home and later somewhere else, you`re essentially shouting in the wild: BREAK IN TO MY HOME, IT`S EMPTY!

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28 Sep 2010 at Twitter

  • 4:18pm: The past day-and-a-half: Admin and writing my first unit tests. All dull but, finally, satisfying.
  • 12:17pm: Several further IRS, technical and administrative enemies slain.
  • 10:51am: First level IRS boss defeated.
  • 7:00am: @nathanawilliams Are you spying on me!?
  • 6:53am: Smug, looking at people arrive in their office across the way, sitting at their desks. Because I'm at home at, er, my desk and computer. Hm.
  • 6:38am: @benterrett Is that prescription-only Wham!, regular over-the-counter Wham!, or just old-wives-tale-herbal Wham!?

28 Sep 2010 in Links