Long ago I asked (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) whether American Idol was an MMO.
Today, I see that NBC is working on turning their entire TV schedule into a massively multiplayer social game.
Q: What is Fan It?
A: Fan It is NBC.com’s affinity program where members are awarded points for participation and interaction. Members can choose to redeem these points for a variety of rewards and/or experiences.
Q: How do I earn points?
A: There are two different ways to earn points: events and challenges. Events are the activities you do on the site and on the social networks you’ve linked to every day, such as leaving comments, watching videos, playing games, posting links or updating your status. Challenges require you to perform specific events within a specific amount of time and are typically worth more points. Click here for more information on how to earn points.
– Fan It | Social Networking: Photos, Videos, Blogs | myNBC.
Of course, this has as much to do with traditional community management and traditional rewards points programs as with games. But note the prominent leaderboards, the featured members area on the home page, the badge system…
As with most social games, there’s an underlying viral agenda here, of course. But also as with social games, the marriage of fictional worlds that users care about with game mechanics and transparent sharing could be very powerful.
Now excuse me, I need to figure out what I need to do to get a Chuck badge…