Live Action Role Playing Games and Technology

The following paper seems to be one the first paper in the field of (live actions) role-playing games and technology to support it: How to Host a Pervasive Game Supporting Face-to-Face Interactions in Live-Action Roleplaying by Jay Schneider, Gerd Kortuem (Ubicomp 2001). The paper describes an ubiquitous computing gaming environment that supports live-action roleplaying. The point of this is to enhance liveactiongames and thave "a testing ground for our sociability enhancing mobile ad-hoc network applications".

The game they present is called Pervasive Clue, it's a "live-action roleplaying game based loosely on Hasbro's classic board game Clue augmented with short-range radio frequency (RF) PDA devices".

The goal of Pervasive Clue is to discover who killed the host, Mr. Bauer, where it was done and what was the murder weapon. Solving the murder is done through the discovery of clues, when a player feels they can solve the crime they are allowed to make an accusation. If any of the crime facts (murderer, location or weapon) are incorrect the player is eliminated.

To meet this end, each player has a Clue Finder like this (I am crazy about this device ;) ): Why do I blog this? Apart from the scenario I find interesting (we're thinking about something similar for the next episode of CatchBob!), I appreciate the research avenues at the end of the paper:

Aside from our planned exploration into the environment of pervasive games, we see the following research issues to be open and worthy of further examination:

  • What features make pervasive computer games fun for the players? What are the pitfalls to avoid that detract from player enjoyment?
  • How can we measure the effectiveness or effect of pervasive technology in games?
  • What makes a game a "hit"? How does it vary among demographics?
  • What are the characteristics of pervasive games? Can we use these
  • characteristics to categorize pervasive games?

  • What are the core set of applications needed by all pervasive games?