Venatu is a new online game that combines clues and internet research with real-world legwork. They offer substantial rewards if you are able to find “The Artifact” for each round, which is always found somewhere in the continental United States (at least for now).
While Google Earth isn’t directly used in gameplay, they recommend that users take advantage of the tools available in GE to help track down the artifacts. I can see the value in that, as at times you’ll need to do things like “draw a 9 mile circle around every Taco Bell in Georgia” or similar tasks that would be made much easier with the tools available inside of Google Earth.
The game has only been going for a few weeks, but they’ve already attracted nearly 900 people to their Facebook Group and it seems to be picking up steam. I worry that the expansive nature of the game may be a turn-off to some (the odds of the prize being within a reasonable drive of your home are quite low), but some online teamwork could make it quite fun. In fact, they recommend that very thing on their Teams page.
It’ll be interesting to see how the game develops, but it’s certainly an interesting idea. Have any of you tried it yet?