Augmented tabletop with RFID
Browsing some pdf I have left on my desktop, I ran across this paper by Steve Hinske and Marc Langheinrich entitled An RFID-based Infrastructure for Automatically Determining the Position and Orientation of Game Objects in Tabletop Games (presented at Pergames 2007). It interestingly describes how RFID technologiy could be used in a tabletop gaming context, allowing to identify objects in an "augmented miniature wargame" (a la Warhammer 40K). The section about why augmenting such games has some good points:
"Popular miniature war games like “Warhammer”, “Warhammer 40k”, and “The Lord of the Rings”2 are excellent examples of games that continuously require precise information about the location and orientation of all game objects. (...) Besides measuring distances and angles, the players must consider the individual features and weapons of each game object. (...) such games can quickly become incredibly complex: Tens or hundreds of different game objects with distinct characteristics and equipment turn the game into an intricate and laborious episode of managing charts, sheets of paper, and measuring equipment. Therefore, the goal is to take the burden off the player by generally displaying static, but essential information about individual game objects (e.g., individual firepower, life points, etc.) on the one hand, and, depending on the current context, by providing them with dynamic real-time information regarding the location and orientation (e.g., unit A is 12 centimetres away from unit B), on the other hand. "
The test environment is very intriguing (using a LEGO Mindstorms robot) and provided a relevant platform to examine whether bringing off some burden related to information-management could change the gaming experience. I'd be curious to see how this is apprehended by players. Why do I blog this? Having played such games few years ago, I find it interesting to analyze the player's experience when supported by diverse technologies such s RFID: how does that change the way people negotiate rules and situations? (something that always happen in this sort of context) Are there other values (or downsides) brought by the inclusion of technology? How does it change the confrontation?
And in the end, how does that inform us about how interactive furnitures and the activities they could be used for? (surely relevant for things such as Philips Entertaible).