New chapter about design issues in location-based games

" Digital Cityscapes: Merging Digital and Urban Playspaces " a book edited by Adriana de Souza e Silva and Daniel Sutko that deal with location-based games and urban informatics:

"The convergence of smartphones, GPS, the Internet, and social networks has given rise to a playful, educational, and social media known as location-based and hybrid reality games. The essays in this book investigate this new phenomenon and provide a broad overview of the emerging field of location-aware mobile games, highlighting critical, social scientific, and design approaches to these types of games, and drawing attention to the social and cultural implications of mobile technologies in contemporary society. With a comprehensive approach that includes theory, design, and education, this edited volume is one of the first scholarly works to engage the emerging area of multi-user location-based mobile games and hybrid reality games."

The book features a chapter called "Framing the Issues for the Design of Location-Based Games " written by Fabien and myself (at the time I was still at the Media and Design Lab at EPFL). It basically describes an overview of the three main design issues we tackled in CatchBob!: the role played by physical features (physical world structure, staircases, etc), the importance of the technological infrastructure (namely, WiFi) and finally the user experience of mutual location-awareness.

Why do I blog this? this is the final paper about the CatchBob! project which occupied Fabien and I from 2004. A big part of the project was about the socio-cognitive influence of mutual location-awareness (which has been done when we were at CRAFT but the one described in this chapter has benefited from my stay at the Media and Design Lab. The discussion we had at the time (2007-2008) were more geared towards architecture and design and certainly shaped some ideas that we discuss.

On a different note, although the chapter and the book are about games, there is a lot to draw out of this specific domain. Urban informatics as a whole could benefit from the elements discussed there.