Jan. 24th, 2011

jodi: (Default)
A few years ago, for my MSc in Human-Computer Interaction with Ergonomics, I did a project on pervasive games and immersion. The game I used for my study was a location-based game and at the time, phones with built in GPSs were less common than they are now. I started wondering how much location-based games had moved on since then and how popular they were now.

FourSquare is the game that sprung to mind to start with, and other similar games such as Gowalla, MyTown and BrightKite, but some of these are really just location based social networking (geo-social networking) as opposed to games.

I remembered playing mscape games, but they are no longer running. The future of mscape.

I started making my own list of location-based games.. Read more... )
I then found various lists: A list of location based mobile games, Location Based Social Networks, Location Based Social apps and games and there are also some listed in Wikipedia in the Location-based game entry. (Although most of those were listed there a few years ago, so aren't that new.)

For a lot of these games, I don't currently have the appropriate technology needed to play them, but hopefully one day I will. Not sure which I would play first though!
jodi: (Default)
The real reason I started to look at location-based games again recently was because I tried the analogue version of the Drift Deck after reading about it on BLDBLOG a few weeks ago. The comments on the BLDBLOG article reveal that the creators are working on a digital version.

I started thinking about what other applications are out there that help exploration and discussed it with a friend, who suggested I needed an application that sends text messages to my phone to tell me to turn right, or look up at the sky, or whatever.

Foursquare and similar geo-social networking apps seem to be almost more like marketing devices than something that will really help you explore. Getting points for going to a café is probably not going to help me find a cool piece of graffiti or an interesting tree.

Geocaching is the obvious and well known one, but there are a lot of location based games out there. (See previous post on Location-based games.)

Is it a game that I really want though? Or perhaps something more like Flook is what I want.. But that's not quite it either. I want something perhaps a bit more prescriptive but without giving away the secrets beforehand (I don't want to see a picture of the graffiti before I get there), like an MP3 tour?

I think what I really want is Mundane Journeys as an application. Someone to tell me to "walk, bike or public transit" to a particular bit of graffiti, or a hotline I can call that tells me that. But perhaps that relies too much on having a trust-worthy person to tell me where to go, and is very location specific.

I read a few papers such as Augmenting Guy Debord’s Dérive: Sustaining the Urban Change with Information Technology, which were interesting.

I think maybe I want a combination of prescriptive travel (but not of the usual tourist places!), like in Mundane Journeys and a combination of the Drift Deck instructions (or experimental travel instructions - like Alternating Travel or Chance Travel) added together. I want to be told context aware stories or music if I happen to go to certain places also, like the tourist guide apps that do that kind of thing. (Although I could just stick to a simple MP3 tour for this?) Maybe also occasional dragons/augmented reality. Plus maybe a game too in case I get bored of just exploring? I'm not sure there is one particular app that will do all these things, but I suspect if I try out different ones, it will help me with my goal of exploring the world around me more.

These are the kind of applications I think I am looking for:
Serendipitor, part of the Sentient City Survival Kit.
Proposal for a psychogeographical iphone app.
Dot Walk.

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