From January 2008 to January 2014, we developed Collectivus, a social location game available as a small prototype. We had a few hundred physical rubber ducks, and thousands of virtual objects located all over the world — we call them &lquo;Thingies.&rquo; These Thingies traveled from place to place, each recording a narrative of the places they've been and people they've encountered.
Collectivus first launched when we put about 600 Rubber Ducks out into the wild, trackable by an app where people could log their encounters, post their photos with them, and track their progress across the world. Starting from Pennsylvania, the Rubber Duckie Thingies reached as far as Austin, Texas; Vancouver, British Columbia; Portugal; Australia; and beyond. Our Thingies are still popping up today.
In late 2011, we relaunched the app with a focus on virtual objects — or as we call them: Digital Thingies. With more and more applications providing location-context to status updates, Digital Thingies accent these activities, sometimes to add context, sometimes as part of a game, often as decoration. Since both Digital and Analog Thingies travel from place to place, their history contains a narrative of the places they've been and people they've encountered. This creates a unique way to randomly discover new people, places, and stories when a Thingie is encountered and a way to share tips, information, and thoughts outside of a person's established social graph.
Collectivus is currently on an indefinite hiatus.