Using Wayfarer map for in-person socializing
My experiences this past summer left me with an impression that people are willing to travel, explore, and interact a lot more as we ease into new norms. I've experienced it locally and on a national level. Personally, I took a trip for GO Fest with explicit plans to meet friends from Wayfarer I've made online over the past few years. I've also met more locals and reconnected with old friends.
Some of these almost feel like we're experiencing meetups for the first time, again. Where do I go? How do we talk past game focused discussion? How do we encourage our community to grow?
Do you think there is anything Niantic could or should add to their Wayspot-based apps and games (or Wayfarer/Lightship itself) to help us interact more in real life, face to face? What would you add to the map, Wayspots, or experience to help improve the social aspect? What would you not want to see?
They need to bring back ex raids.
Link to FS and MD events, maybe do the same for the other games could be useful.
It sure would be nice if the Wayspots used in each and every game showed the Niantic IDs or in-game names of the Wayfinders who created them.
I have met some fellow local Wayfinders through my city's Discord, but there are lots of other folks submitting in the area that I know nothing about. I'm sure I've bumped into some of them while playing my game without having any idea that they are active in Wayfarer. Imagine if I'd been able to say "Hey, I saw your name on a Wayspot. I love submitting new Wayspots too! Let's talk about great places to submit around town."
I value all the really helpful members of this online community, but I think it would be even more valuable to have a way to identify and connect with Wayfinders in my local area.
Build Wayfarer accounts (and in the future, Wayfarer app access) into a Campfire space and roll out access to the standalone app to active reviewers. Create several large geographic-area-based or langage-based groups for Wayfarer users and have some form of auto-moderation and chat abuse reporting functionality. Use the Map in that section of the app to easily view local events, possibly added to a master schedule by Wayfarer Ambassadors. Allow individual eligible Wayfarers to light flares like Pokemon Go players can for raids.
Ingress remains a quite social game with a third party (FevGames) facilitating monthly First Saturdays and User POC's handling other local events. I wish FevGames events would feed automatically to the Campfire map in the ingress space. Make sure each registered event has a chat created in Campfire, with the approved hosts or POCs as moderators. If Wayfarer had the same dedicated Campfire space and a way to register official events through an application process, with hosts being vetted (maybe requiring a minimum number of reviews, or a minimum rating) we could put together local events like live Wayfarer Bingo games, Under-served Area Submission Parties, and the like.
Okay, these may be a little farfetched, but remember there are no bad ideas in brainstorming!
A "heat map" - some way of seeing on the map which areas and Wayspots are most visited by other players. When we have new players come to town, their first question always is "what is the best place to play?" But if they don't even know who to ask, visiting a popular place on the map can help them make new connections in person.
A way to express interest in meeting up for an activity at a certain Wayspot sometime in the future. For example, interested in meeting up at the library for the raid hour at 6pm on Wednesday. Lighting a flare in Campfire is great but it only works in the present. It would be great to take this a little further, so that the players could explore the map, see what others are interested in, and plan ahead accordingly.
Connecting Wayspots to the real life events happening at those locations. Tuesday special at a popular restaurant, a new exhibit at the museum opening on Thursday, or a game at the ballpark on Saturday - offer a way to discover these via Wayspots on the map to help players plan their outings with friends. Even hours of operation and a link to the official website can be helpful. Just don't turn the map into a nonstop advertising platform, please! Let the players explore this information on their own terms.