Munzee

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Munzee
Munzee-logo.gif
First played July 1, 2011, Texas
Characteristics
Contact No
Team members
  • Rob Vardeman - President
  • Scott Foster - VP of Technology
  • TJ Ogroske - VP of Marketing and Sales
  • Omi Salavea - Director of Social Media
  • Daniel Fischer - Backend Developer
  • Bruce Rees - Android Developer
  • Trish Vandehey - Graphic Design
Mixed gender Yes
Type Outdoor
Equipment Mobile phone or Tablet computer with GPS receiver
Venue Earth
Presence
Olympic No
Illustration of a Munzee, which players create and hide for other players to find

Munzee is a freemium scavenger hunt game where places have to be found in the real world. The game is similar to Geocaching but uses QR code technology, in addition to device GPS location, to prove the find instead of a logbook. Launched in Texas in 2011, the game caught on first in Germany, along with California and Michigan. It is now played in more than 50 countries around the world, and there is at least one physical Munzee deployed on every continent, including Antarctica.[1] [2]

The places are marked by other players using QR codes, which are hidden and often printed on weatherproof stickers. The places can also be marked by a NFC tag. [3] These stickers are called Munzees. Both the finding and the hiding players receive points for deploying and finding Munzees. The QR codes on the Munzees are read by means of a smartphone app for IOS, Android or Windows. [1] The coordinates of the Munzees as well as the data of the players are managed via the central web platform.

Virtual Munzees are also available for purchase. These also appear in app lists and on maps, and they are "captured" by locating the app device within 300 feet of the designated location. The device must also be within 300 feet of a QR code Munzee to verify "capture." [4]

History[edit]

A common misconception is that the idea for Munzee was inspired by geocaching, a game in which participants search for a hidden cache using GPS technology. However, Munzee co-founder Aaron Benzick (having never been a geocacher) came up with the idea of using QR codes for a game in 2008, but smartphone technology and capability were not available at the time.[5] Benzick, and co-founders, Scott Foster, Chris Pick, and Josh Terkelsen launched the game on July 1, 2011. The term Munzee was derived from the German word for coin, Münze. To make the name more catchy, an e was added. The original idea was to use poker chips or rounded coins with QR codes. [6]

Munzees[edit]

Munzee on the back of a traffic sign

Munzees can consist of any material; they must have at minimum a QR-code and physically meet the conditions of the location (waterproof, weatherproof, etc.). Munzees either can be self generated and printed or be purchased via the web store.[7] NFC Munzees and Virtual Munzees can be purchased from the web store. [8]

To generate or to order Munzees one has to be logged in on the central platform with a unique user name. When generating a Munzee, the platform creates a web link, over which the generated Munzee can be managed. This web link is represented as a QR code on the Munzee. A descriptive name and an arbitrarily long comment can be assigned to the Munzee as properties. Both are stored on the central platform (not in the QR code) and can be changed later.

After a Munzee is physically created, it can be hidden anywhere outdoors and then deployed via the app. Business Munzees are also available which are deployed inside a business.[9] Once the Munzee has been deployed it goes live on the map and is ready to be found or "captured" by other players. [10]

The coordinates of all globally mounted Munzees are managed on the game platform at munzee.com. [11] Players navigate themselves to the general location of a Munzee by accessing the map with a smartphone. When they find a Munzee, they capture it by scanning the QR code. The smartphone app sends the data scanned along with current coordinates to the central system which records the capture. The finder and the player that deployed the Munzee each earn points.

Dissemination[edit]

In December 2013 there were over 890,000 Munzees deployed and more than 2 million Munzee captures had been recorded, a more than two-fold increase over March 1st of the same year.[12] A statistics site shows that Munzees are deployed world wide with the biggest concentrations in the USA (~36 %), Germany (~31 %), the United Kingdom (~9 %), Canada (~7 %) and Australia (~5 %).[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Spencer, Susan. "New game in town". Telegram. Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  2. ^ Dorsey, Erika (Q4 2012). "Member Spotlight". Heartland Highlights. 
  3. ^ Clark, Mike. "Munzee adds NFC to geolocation game". NFC World. Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  4. ^ "About Munzee". speurvuur.nl. Retrieved 2014-01-24. 
  5. ^ Rush, Jessica (July 3, 2011). "'M' marks the spot: Locally based Munzee takes hi-tech scavenger hunts global". Plano Courier Star. Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  6. ^ Rush, Jessica (July 13, 2011). "Resident promotes hi-tech scavenger hunt". Little Elm. Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  7. ^ Brinkman, Lillie-Beth (September 18, 2012). "Get App-y's odds and ends — Munzee, Pictorama, Flock". NewsOK. Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  8. ^ "Munzee store". munzee.com. Retrieved 2014-01-24. 
  9. ^ "Business munzees". munzee.com. Retrieved 2014-01-24. 
  10. ^ Faulkner, Adrian. "Munzee – A scavenger hunt for your smartphone". GPS Tracklog. Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  11. ^ Bourque, Andre. "Driving Kids to Succeed through Gamification". Business 2 Community. Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  12. ^ "About". Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  13. ^ "Statistics". Retrieved 3 March 2013. 

External links[edit]