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Last year, the social gaming phenomenon Cow Clicker captured the world’s imoogination, offering players the opportunity to click on a cow every six hours—or even more often. Since July 2010, more than 50,000 people have clicked over 50 breeds of cows over 5 million times, engorging their accownts with over 5 million mooney, Cow Clicker’s in-game currency.

Cow Clicker distilled social games to their essence, offering players incentive to instrumentalize their friendships, obsess over arbitrary timed events, buy their way out of challenge and effort, and incrementally blight their offline lives through worry and dread.

Though its player community constitutes a true cowtown, a question still lows low from the pasture: does life still thrive on this digital cowpat, or is it but a one-trick calf?

Here at the Cow Clicker ranch, we’ve learned an important lesson about cow clicking: people don’t just want one chance to click a cow every six hours. They want as many opportunities as possible to click a cow every six hours.

So today, I’m thrilled to announce the launch of the Cow Clicker Platform: the web-widget Cow Clicker Connect, the programmable Cow Clicker API, and three new official Cow Clicker products that implement them, the Facebook game Cow Clicker Blitz, the iPhone app Cow Clicker Moobile, and the Moogle search engine.

Cowclickification is the Future of Branding

No longer shall the bovine secrets of cow clicking be locked away behind the electrified fences of our acreage. Now you can leverage the intrinsic incentives of cow clicking to improve user experience and retention in your business. Anything you can click you can cow click!

It’s called cowclickification—the application of cow clicking mechanics to non-cow clicking applications. Now everyone can graze on the sweet grasses and step in the pungent pies of Cow Clicker’s pasture. Businesses can employ new cow clicking mechanics such as clicking a cow to distract customers from the vapid pointlessness of their products and services.

Players can earn one click every six hours at every cowclickified website or app they use. Thanks to the intrinsic pleasure and ferocious competition inherent to cow clicking, they’ll want to click everywhere they can as often as possible. When you cowclickify, you give your audience good reason to use your otherwise mediocre website, app, or service.

Moove over gamification, it’s time for gamoofication. The Cow Clicker platform is here to turn your marketing and branding initiatives into a thunderous stampede of clicks!

Cow Clicker Connect
Cow Clicker Connect offers an easy way to cowclickify your website. When your users click on a cow on your website, they’ll also earn a click in Cow Clicker! Think about it: would you rather order a pizza, submit a comment, or rate an escort service by clicking a boring button… or by clicking your cow? That’s what we thought.

Cow Clicker API
The Cow Clicker API allows developers to build their own cow clicker apps atop the Cow Clicker platform. If your mobile app, web application, or software product demands seamless bovine integration, the Cow Clicker API is for you. In addition to allowing you to provide custom clicking integration, the API also makes it easy to integrate the cows themselves into your app.

Blitz, Mooble, Moogle, and More

Back at the farmhouse, we’ve been churning our own milk to provide buttery examples of cowclickification in action. Not only do these specimens show taurine engineers and entrepreneurs alike the udderly enormous potential of cowclickification, but also they provide exciting new experiences for clickers writ large.

Cow Clicker Blitz is a fast-paced cow clicking game in which players click cows, not gems. Clickers can submit a high score (and earn a click) by clicking their cow every six hours.

Cow Clicker Moobile is an iPhone app (coming soon to the Apple App Store) that lets clickers click their cows on the moove. Never miss an opportunity to click again—plus, post moobile clicks to your Facebook wall and earn mooney when your friends click your clicks.

And Moogle, the cowclickified search engine, offers a simple example of Cow Clicker Connect in action. Search the web by clicking on your cow. It was created in less than half an hour with Cow Clicker Connect. Anything clickable on your website or blog is an opportunity for cowclickification!

The Stockyard

Once you’ve created your cowclickified application, we know what you’re going to ask next: how can I moonetize it? As usual, Cow Clicker’s got you covered. The Stockyard is the Cow Clicker app store, where developers and businesses can publish their cowclickified applications, and where eager cow clickers can find new opportunities to click. Soon we’ll have our rubber aprons donned and our industrial hoses primed, so reserve your pen in the Stockyard now.

We can’t wait to see the methane you expel! Before you know it, spuming mad cow clickers will overwhelm your otherwise useless and regrettable site or service. Remember: anything you can click you can cow click!

published January 20, 2011

Comments

  1. Ernest Adams

    The horror… the horror…

    Reply
  2. Megan S.

    Make sure you publish a list of places that offer the CowClicker feature.

    Reply
  3. Ian Bogost

    That’s the Stockyard Megan. Coming soon!

    Reply
  4. Shane

    I think Square-Enix might have a problem with you using the name Moogle, since they hold a copyright on it.

    Reply
  5. John Evans

    All I can say is that I’m impressed with your…how do I put this…persistence?

    Reply
  6. Dave Mark

    I love you so much.

    Reply
  7. Ian Bogost

    @John Evans

    Cowmittment, even.

    Reply
  8. Robert Jackson

    Blimey it is worse than just the app. I wondered how far you would go to prove the most valid of points.

    I’d like to see milk or meat based items next please. With points.

    Reply
  9. Ron Meiners

    Brilliant Ian! Cowngrats! You’ve captured the whole cowpie mess superbly. Which actually reassures me – in addition to that whole set of… stuff… such insightful and fun creations are also possible.

    Reply
  10. glenn

    “Businesses can employ new cow clicking mechanics such as clicking a cow to distract customers from the vapid pointlessness of their products and services.”

    This is so meta. (*hopes others get why this is so funny to me*)

    Reply
  11. Shawn D. Stone

    That’s an impressive variety of imaginary bovine interactions, but I wonder why I can’t interact with a 3D cow, using $500 3D glasses. Ideally, I would ‘click’ by making a flailing gesture with one hand. Bonus for co-op 3D gestural cow clicking!

    P.S., It should use my $60 console camera to take a picture of me ‘clicking’ my cow and then tweet that to my friends.

    Reply
  12. fael

    haha, i love the puns!

    Reply
  13. Alejandro

    This site needs a little cowclickification: I don’t want post a comment, I want to post a cowmment!

    Reply
  14. Ian Bogost

    Alejandro, you’re absolutely right!

    Now you can submit comments by clicking your cow, not just for this post but for every post on bogost.com.

    Reply
  15. Alejandro

    Thanks Ian! I am completely engaged in this cowmment, now that I now I will be able to click my cow at the end!

    (The contents of this cowmment have a moo of approval from Alejandro’s cow)

    Reply
  16. Mark Sample

    I really have nothing to say. I just came here to click my cowmment.

    Reply
  17. Andre LePlume

    Nice to see you milking this for all it is worth.

    Reply
  18. Ronnie

    Wow, clicking cows has gone mainstream. Next we’ll be clicking cows for everything.

    Reply
  19. Mr. Seacrudge

    Dear Ian,

    Since you mention it, I’m looking for angel investment in a new game I’m developing, called “Porking Wars”.

    You may find Porking Wars a worthy expansion of “cowclickification”, as the basic mechanic is clicking on piglets.

    Click click click and the little piglet emits joyful self-satisfied oinks and rolls gleefully around in ever-spreading pools of its own manure. Click click click and the innocent little piglet grows into a fat pig, and eventually a full blown hog. As the game progresses, the oinks grow louder and deeper, the manure-pools darker and more fetid.

    Then, when a swine is fully gorged, the final click results in slaughter, and the game emits a sudden, bloodcurdling squeal as its life is extinguished. In this way, players compete to acquire the most “bacon” credits, represented by little sticks of bacon that accumulate from the bottom of the screen.

    There’s an added element of mystery and suspense: an algorithm slightly varies the point at which each pig is targeted for slaughter, so once a hog reaches a certain degree of fatness, every click could be the end–making it impossible to determine exactly how many more clicks remain before the axe will fall and transform the happy oinks into a fateful death-squeal.

    Strategically, its a careful balance of clicks versus bacon. As “Porking Wars” is a social game, the doomed hogs can be traded among players, and the closer the traded hog is to slaughter, the more profit to the player, as it means fewer clicks make more bacon. There are subtle algorithms of season, climate, diet, manure, and animal interaction that govern the click-to-bacon ratio that can be discovered and used to advantage by players. Eventually a player completes a level when the little sticks of bacon credits accumulate to fill the whole screen, making further clicking on piglets impossible.

    Then the game begins the whole process over again on the next, more challenging, level–with new breeds of patented, genetically modified hogs, that produce both bacon sticks and toxic waste.

    This is where monetization becomes important: not only can players purchase more pigs at auctions, and accelerate the well-being and fattening of their hogs by buying more oinks and more manure; on the higher levels, when farming with patented hogs, there are also licensing agreements that must be paid with real money.

    Finally, in the ultimate level, the immense, surreally obese GM hogs begin to walk on two legs and take over the farm… At this point “Porking Wars” evolves into a 1st person shooter game with a soundtrack of continuous agonized squeals and shotgun blasts as players engage in a life-and-death struggle against their own hogs, in the exciting & detailed environment of a giant labyrinthine factory sty…

    You can see why I thought “Porking Wars” might be of especial interest to Persuasive Games: it could be used to teach game designers about ecology. For that reason I’ve brought it to you first, as I know you have an interest in furthering understanding in the world through thoughtful video game experiences, and are thus in an ideal position to realize the full potential of this game.

    Reply
  20. Isabella33Rice

    Every body remembers that today’s life seems to be expensive, nevertheless some people need cash for various stuff and not every person gets enough money. Therefore to receive fast mortgage loans and just student loan would be a correct way out.

    Reply
  21. Ian Bogost

    The above comment is clearly spam, but I decided to publish it anyway.

    Reply
  22. Ian Bogost

    @Mr. Seacrudge

    Holy christ.

    Reply
  23. David

    This cownvergence of post-moodernism with its

    own parody is cownceptual art of the highest

    ordure.

    Heifer nice day.

    Reply

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