Real World Gaming is all the rage right now, so it's not surprising that the the 800lb georilla (Yelp) wanted in on the action. It is remarkable however the speed at which they integrated it. Yelp's new "Check-In" functionality instantly makes them the biggest player in the Real World Gaming space. The scary thing is that with one simple feature, Check-Ins, Yelp leapfrogged practically every Real World Game out there. The real question is, "Why is almost every Real World Game built around Check-Ins?".
Geo data is unique in that it can be used to query for so many different things (people, places and things for that matter). So why are venues and Check-Ins the center of almost every Real World Game? iSpy for example shows you cool "things" nearby as oppose to "places" (venues). Obviously venues make the most sense from a business perspective, but that might be what got us into this mess in the first place.
The next step is for Real World Games to move away from the Check-In model. Some day we will look back and laugh at the idea of using geo data for Check-Ins. There are so many creative uses for geo data that I am sure Yelp's move will only spur innovation in our space. It is time to step it up.