Geeky merit badges are a good example of the trend to add game-like layers to real life. Hilowbrow's badges are escpecially nifty.
Josh Glenn of Hilobrow says
In August, new-media artist Peggy Nelson started challenging HiLobrow readers to earn gorgeous embroidered merit badges by demonstrating insight into recurring HiLobrow themes and memes, and/or by participating creatively in those themes and memes. As of this week, you can now earn seven badges: Radium Age, Pipe Dreams, Wingwalker, Feral Tendencies, The Node, Awaiting Instructions, and Games (see image below). Find out how to earn 'em here:
Peggy's challenges look intimidating, at first glance, but they're by no means impossible. In fact, several readers have already been awarded badges.
There are a limited number of free badges available — distributed on a first-come, first-earned basis. After the initial supply has been distributed, there will be a $10 embroidery fee. So act now.