Startup #152 – Thumbs Up Seven Up


Speaking of thumbs up, a big thumbs up to Jim for getting me off my butt and back on the blog.  Thanks man, and be sure to let me know when the site launches. 

Today’s idea is a throwback to those glorious days in the 3rd grade when Mrs. Commanderson knocked back one too many Tom Collins’ the previous evening and, mostly as an excuse to dim the lights for a bit, skipped the day’s long division lesson and kicked off a rousing game of Thumbs Up, Seven Up.  For those who don’t remember the rules (don’t feel bad, I had to Wikipedia it myself), here’s how it works.  Seven students come up to the front of the room.  MC cuts the lights, everyone puts their heads down on their desks and outstretches their thumbs, and the seven students creep around and press down a thumb of their choosing.  When the lights and heads come up, each pressee has to guess the presser.  Guess it right, and you swamp spots.

My idea is to replicate the joy of the old-school Thumbs Up Seven Up game in a new-school format on either a mobile or social networking platform.  The game play would approximate the actual rules of the game, where groups of users between 15 and 30 would join in a session and seven people would be chosen at random to start.  At the start of each round, the pressers would be presented a list of the potential pressees, along with their profile photo and a Twitter-like tag line of their choosing.  Once you find a good-lookin’ thumb to press, you need to enter a quick (140 chars or less) message to the user to select them.

Why the messages?  In the real game, choosing the presser was not just a random guess.  There were a few subtle clues that you could pick up on, such as how hard the thumb was pressed down, the sound of the shoes, the temperature/roughness of the presser’s thumb, etc..  In order to add a little bit of a non-random twist to the game, the messages would potentially give the guessers a slight hint as to the personality of the person who picked them.  By comparing the message that was left by the presser and the tag line for each potential presser, the guessers have a little something to deduce which of the seven picked them.  Also, it’s a non-threatening way to kick off a conversation with a *especially* good-lookin’, potentially dateable thumb – and maybe even buy a virtual flower or bag of eCaramels to catch their attention (and give you a nice little revenue stream).

What do you guys think?  Any chance the nostalgia of playing this classic game would be enough to make this go viral?  Or does this one get a big fat thumbs down?

(photo credit: phototropism)

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