Vernon Morning Star

ProxMe! launches in Okanagan

Vernon’s Nolan Clark, a GIS teacher at Okanagan College, has launched his new mobile device application, ProxMe! - Jenny Smith/Morning Star
Vernon’s Nolan Clark, a GIS teacher at Okanagan College, has launched his new mobile device application, ProxMe!
— image credit: Jenny Smith/Morning Star

Vernon’s Nolan Clark is making a game of the social media marketing world.

Sort of a cross between hide-and-seek and a treasure hunt, Clark’s new mobile device app, called ProxMe!, has launched in the Okanagan.

ProxMe! is a browser-based app for just about any mobile device (cell or tablet) that supports location services. It engages people in what Clark terms “anonymous social interaction,” whereby they interact with other ProxMe! players, but don’t really know who or where these other players are.

The object of the game is to be the first player to collect all of the pieces of a large puzzle.

Players engage with others by submitting their current location to the system, which in turn, checks to see if there are any other players within a certain proximity. If the system finds a proximal player, it will prompt the player to exchange game pieces, which will result in some pieces from Player A being copied over to Player B, and visa versa.

Clark, who teaches geographic information systems (GIS) at Okanagan College, launched his inaugural game, sponsored by Silver Star Mountain Resort, this fall. It featured a proximity search radius of 10 kilometres, and first place earned a family season pass.

“Players (were) distributed from Kamloops south to Penticton, so you can see how a piece of a puzzle that is initially distributed to a player in Penticton may take a while to propagate through the communities to a player in Kamloops,” said Clark, who has been developing websites and database applications for 20 years.

The game also features milestone collection points where the first player to collect a certain number of pieces wins the prize associated with that milestone. In the Silver Star edition, milestone prizes included 20 downhill day passes, 20 two-hour family passes to Tube Town and a one-month membership to Vernon’s Excel Fitness.

“I’m currently working with some businesses to provide some random prizes that any player could win at any given time, just by engaging with the game,” added Clark.

ProxMe! is a platform, meaning any company that wants to promote its brand can sponsor a game. Clark already has two more Vernon companies sponsoring games – Autosound Plus and Blenz. Winner of the Autosound game wins a $250 gift card, while the Blenz victor gets free coffee for a year.

“Businesses can choose how large of a puzzle they want, how long the game should last...by specifying certain parameters of their game,” said Clark.

“I am also looking at themed ProxMe! games, where the grand prize is a collection of awesome prizes.”

As an example, he suggested a bundled prize of some tickets to a big sporting event or concert, including hotel and spending money.

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