Assignment: Design a mobile texting campaign – shortcodes, keywords, send/resp functions. Implement campaign using TextMarks, Txtify or Twitter

 

I had no idea that SMS texting could be so powerful. Using services like textmarks, you can have phone numbers subscribe to your shortcode for broadcast of data and news. You can have text messages ping web applications written in just about any code. You can conduct surveys, contests/giveaways. You can coordinate large groups of people and their messages. All with 160 characters!

 

I have never written code in PHP, so I wanted to experiment with this process. I designed an easy game in the tradition of Rock Paper Scissors but with a current twist. I want to understand if it is possible to create an engaging, interactive game like Zork using the SMS character limit.

 

In my RPS text message game, the user texts rpspalestine to the short code 41411. They receive back these instructions:   Reply to this msg with ‘p’ for Palestine, ‘i’ for Israel, or ‘a’ for USA to play. When they respond with the appropriate letter, the script randomly generates their own play (palestine, israel or USA) compares it to the players play, and responds with a result based on the logic i set up.

 

I have always been curious by the format of the game rock paper scissor. I have explored the reasons behind the balanced rule structure of what defeats what and even though the results do no always make sense, it has a balanced logic. I want the user to do the same thing with the results of each play; when Israel goes up against Palestine, is this the most likely result? why? Hopefully it can complicate the users ideas on the topic of peace in the Middle east. This type of game would be one of many other tactics used in a campaign to bring up important issues on any topic. It is one method of engagement.

 

I put the php code on Github. Try it out and let me know about the bugs!