Pervsive game research
The city shaman dances with virtual wolves – researching pervasive mobile gaming by Frans Mäyrä is an interesting accoung about pervasive games in Vodafone's receiver. Some excerpts:
Study of games is rather new in most universities, and that of mobile games even more so. Games have been a sort of blind spot for both human sciences and humanistic scholarship. (...) When games break away from computers and consoles, their boundaries become even harder to see and the nature of the game even harder to define. Yet this is exactly where researchers are currently focusing. (...) Mobile games are an important research field for the GameLab for numerous reasons. Mobile terminals are by their nature context-aware: the service provider gets information both about who the user is and where she is. That kind of contextual information is at the core of all traditional games, but has mostly been missing from digital games (...) The possibilities for new game mechanics, taking advantage of the full range of contextual information provided by pervasive systems, expand the research and design space further. This is one of the major research directions being explored by some ongoing projects in the Tampere GameLab. (...) It now appears that in order to understand the principles of the design of mobile pervasive games we first have to study ourselves. What is reality? How can we create and maintain multiple worlds or realities simultaneously in our minds, and negotiate between them as we cross from one context to another? How much of such multitasking can we tolerate and even enjoy before the associated cognitive demands change from refreshing and stimulating into stressful and confusing? Research into the ethics and information ergonomics for pervasive mobile games is still at an early phase, but it looks like the investigation into the future of entertainment will yield some important lessons about human nature.