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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.

April 2014



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