GamesBeat

GamrRank engages gamers with fun challenges and deep social-networking hooks

In martial arts I could never commit past yellow belt. It just couldn’t hold my interest like Civilization III, which always made me wish I could get a belt rank in video games … well, dreams do come true.

GamrRank is a new gaming social networking site that provides players with a belt-style ranking depending on what they play, how well they play it, and then what they say about it. It’s free to sign up, and it already has challenges live on the site that gamers can compete in for a chance to win cash.

“GamrRank is the ultimate rank for gamers,” GamrRank chief executive officer Duleepa Wijayawardhana told GamesBeat. “You go to GamrRank.com and sync up your game accounts — your Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, Steam, World of Warcraft, Xfire, and then even your community.”

GamrRank doesn’t just track the games its members are playing, it tracks the games they’re talking about. Members can also attach their Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts, and GamrRank will keep an eye out for any dialogue about games. It also works on forums.

“Like the BioWare forums and wherever you’re talking about games,” said Wijayawardhana. “[GamrRank] combines the play and the say to give you your rank in games.”

Since GamrRank is a community of its own, users can give others “respect,” which operate like a Facebook “like” only for what people accomplish or say about games.

“What we’re doing with GamrRank  is building a platform to engage gamers,” said Wijayawardhana. “For developers to engage the consumer and for gamers to engage each other.”

Up until recently, the management team had the site under a closed beta while they implemented some key features. The biggest of those is “challenges,” which allows gamers to create custom events that they can challenge friends to across social, mobile, console, and PC games.

These challenges extend beyond the peer-to-peer variety. Currently, the site is offering a $1,000 Hitman: Absolution contest:

Hitman: Absolution launches with a bang this week, and we are really excited to offer up a $1,000 contract! Yes, you heard right: you could earn $1,000 for uploading a video of Hitman!

The Challenge is to spell your name in bullet holes and put a body beside it. And remember: creativity counts.

This engages players with a product (Hitman) and the reverberations through social media could encourage others to purchase the game. Especially if a player’s friends sees him uploading creative videos like the one described in the challenge. And that’s how GamrRank plans to make money off its community, by giving publishers an opportunity to reach out and create buzz on a social level.


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