TypeRacer is a typing game gone social – you can match your typing speed against that of friends and strangers. Beyond making a typing game social, here is why I think it is brilliant.
When you are playing the game, you are voluntarily submitting yourself to be exposed to marketing. So far, the lines I have typed have been from books and movies. Besides giving me the occasional thrill to spot a familiar sentence, I’m being exposed to new material.
The second reason I think the game is brilliant because it has taken the output of a common activity like typing and used it as an input for something else. When we type, we aren’t just producing words on the screen, we are pushing the car forward. The creator(s) of the game has taken our interest in measuring our typing speed and mapped that variable to something else – the speed of the car as it races across (or in my case, crawls across) the screen.
I always appreciate it when people do these sort of mapping of patterns from one domain to another. It isn’t easy to spot these sort of stuff.