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Tag "game"

Gaming at large scale with the city as the play field has gathered pace with its community adapting new tools and technologies in the social networking domain. The likes of Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare are offering platforms additional gameplay ideas can extend upon.

In the past year or so a number of such a add ons to the Foursquare location based social networking platform have been developed.

Image taken from worldoffourcraft.com / At sign up choose your home team.

World of Fourcraft is a New York based game that uses a NYC as a battle ground for borough teams to battle the grounds and fight over ownerships for territories. It is based on Foursquare check-ins and with each check-in territory can be gained.

The players sign up via a Foursquare and choose the borough they want to play for. After that each check-in counts towards the boroughs count of check-ins in a particular area. The area belongs to the team with the most check-ins.

Image taken from worldoffourcraft.com / The battle map of World of Fourcraft NYC. The different colours indicate the borough ownerships.

You can always check the battle map to keep up to date on how the grounds are won and lost. Its a bit like the strategy game Risk where territories can be won in battle. On this one it would be great to see a timeLapse on how the game board has developed over the past few month. Check out more on Mashable.

Oust.me is a platform to transform your places and check-ins into territories and defend them against invaders. The platform is run by a small team based somewhere in the Slovenian region and draws location data from Foursquare, Gowalla and Facebook Places.

Oust.me user Matija wrote a Short Guide how to build territory in 4 easy steps. You will need your mobile phone with your favorite check-in service: Foursquare, Gowalla or Facebook Places, a pair of walking shoes and some time.

Check your neighborhood in Oust.me (if there is already any territory)
Be sure that distances fits into 2km area between two locations
Start walking (use sports-tracker app for measuring distance)
Check-in into the locations on your way – or create new interesting ones
Voila – you have a territory in Oust.me

Image by Matija taken from Oust.me blog / Creating a territory on Oust.me using Foursquare check-ins in four easy steps.

In this manner I created my territory around Gatwick Airport with some m20 checkpoints and a total area of 1.08 km2. Of course there are a handfull of people invading near, but Oust.me keeps me up to date on their moves and send me a message if they are invading my territory. I am not quite sure how exactly the shapes are created and sometimes they can have some detached extensions (like my Basel, Davidsboden territory), but generally the area looks pretty good.

Image by urbanTick / My territory of 1.08 km2 around Gatwick Airport created with about 20 check-in points and multiple check-ins.

Less of a game but a useful tool for gaming is the crosspost service. It offers to transfer your check-ins from one service to another. If you check-in to a location on Foursquare it will automatically be transfered to your Facebook Places and you are checked in there too. For the games platform this can be quite useful as you get double check-ins.

Enjoy the games, happy gaming. Also check out the earlier post on gaming, as forexample using London Oyster card data on Chromorama, Map Attack and Street Grab or Urban Defender and more.

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Gaming at large scale is a hot topic with the new technologies available. It makes for a great spatial experience where locations can be rediscovered and reclaimed in a new way with a new purpose. The practice of the production of space is very present with this new breed of games that make uses of location based technology and smart phones as well as social networking platforms. Earlier posts HERE and HERE.

Around Foursquare a few extensions have been developed such as oust.me or MobZombies. There are also games such a shadowCity or situationist operating platform independent but are crowd oriented. All these games turn real world spatial movement recorded by the mobile phones GPS in to virtual achievements and traces that allow for other players to interact with.

Image taken from mapAttack / An AR view of the game board with the locations as they are captured by the different teams (colour) and the number of points each on contributes.

MapAttack is one of these new breeds of real time, real location, virtual games. It is a game platform that runs on iOS and Android. It was developed from the Geoloqi platform. It is a multiplayer game for 4-12 players in two teams battling for supremacy over a terrain by conquering virtual locations in the real world that will count as points towards the team overall rating. Locations are conquered by being there first which will be registerd by the mobile platform and transmitted to the centralised mapAttack server. In real time all players have an overview of the current stats of the game.

MapAttack gaming session can be hosted anywhere and might come to a city near you. Check out the twitter page for updated on games and locations.
If your interested to use the API to build your own version of the game there is a developers page. The code s open source, including the mobile app.

“MapAttack is a real-time location-based GPS game powered by the @geoloqi platform. Coming to a city near you.
This video shows a visualisation of the territory captured by each team during gameplay.
Why? So you can turn the real world into a game, of course! To get to run around while doing awesome things and have fun! The feeling while playing a real-life game is one of the best things on earth. It’s not common, but it’s becoming an increasingly awesome possibility with mobile technology. We hope millions of these games occur and that we can make more of them possible. We’re always inspired by Jane McGonigal and AreaCode and we’d like to increase our ability to bring more people into real-world gaming.”

via roomthily via programmableWeb.

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The widening of the planning process is something we have only seen happening in the past 20 years. Public consultations are older, but not public participation. There was a strong practice of participation in the late eighties and early nineties ,which has sort of established some public involvement, but it has also died out to a great extend again. It is however an upcoming topic again also with the availability of new tools and technologies such as digital and mobile gadgets.

The tension between the ‘planners’ and the ‘to be planned’, has always posed obstacles and the understanding and the working together is complicated already because of the self image of the different parties. One of the few methods with a good success for a productive process involving multiple parties is the games oriented approach, where the immediate self and the preoccupation can be diverted and the engagement or possible temporally enacting of a different role seems acceptable and possible.

In a new Valiz publication Game Urbanism: Manual for Cultural Spatial Planning, Hans Verhuizen discusses his theories and his practice in this field of, what he terms ‘Cultural Planning’, of working with multiple stakeholders on planning processes.

The publication puts Spatial Planning as: “Reassuring End-Pictures Remove all Fear of Change, yet also Curiosity about an Uncertain Result” and crucially for the approach: “The Best Idea is Indeed the Idea you Think of Yourself”.

The book puts forward a specific term for the aspects it is concerned with as ‘Cultural Planning’. It is not a new term, but Charles Laundry traces its roots back to the 1980s. The terms aims to broaden the meaning of ‘planning’ as a mer infrastructure and definitely physically oriented process. With the addition of culture the aim is to include social and cultural aspects.

The publication is structured in three main chapters, Handbook, Workbook and Urbanism Game. To understand the ful index it is important to have a look at the first few pages which are in fact part of the index. It is a sort of index spread allowing for a note with each topic. The number at the bottom is not the actual page number, but the page number this topic is discussed.

The Handbook chapter is the theoretical part with a wide range of inputs and considerations. Especially the side notes are a playful set of very serious input. The whole book is full of playful elements with rotation and skips or directions, where the topic of the content has informed the presentation and the character of the publication.

Image taken from archined / Parquette, a project game employing the herringbone pattern as a principle of reorganisation. The games reveilles the positive side of conflicts in the urban planning processes.

“Game Urbanism deals with the culture of spatial planning. Hans Venhuizen advances a broad understanding of culture that encompasses cultural history, heritage, architecture and art, as well as the culture of the current residents of a region and the idiosyncrasy of a place. In his search for a more specific identity for cities and areas, Venhuizen links the worlds of culture and space to each other in different ways. In this, his focus is always on the culture of spatial planning itself, and the game is his most important instrument. The relation between playfulness and seriousness is a key feature in all of Venhuizen’s projects. The game is capable of involving participants in an assignment on an equal basis. Moreover, it simplifies complex situations, reveals the wishes and interests of those involved, and provides pleasure in uncertain processes of change.”

“The book offerscase studies, context, methods and reflection. It shows a fundamentally different way of looking at how we deal with space, one in which culture assumes a natural and decisive role.”

The three authors have very different backgrounds and this shapes a very distinct perspective, creating interesting view.
Hans Venhuizen is director of Bureau Venhuizen, a project management and research bureau in the field of planning processes and spatial planning, also referred to as culture-based planning.
Charles Landry is founder and director of Comedia (UK), an international agency advising on creativity as source and stimulator for urban development and change. Landry is author of The Creative City: a Toolkit for Urban Innovators (2000), The Art of City Making (2006) and with Phil Wood of The Intercultural City: Planning for Diversity Advantage (2007).
Francien van Westrenen is Programmer/Curator Architecture of Stroom in The Hague and was project manager at Bureau Venhuizen.

For a quick overview of the book pleaase have a look at this clip.

SubMap 1.0
Image taken from archined / Book cover.

Venhuizen, H., Landry, C. & Westrenen, F.V., 2010. Game Urbanism: Manual for Cultural Spatial Planning, Amsterdam: Valiz.

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What could brighten up the daily gray commutes back and forth between nowhere and somewhere? Well I guess a game coud actually, but card games are not a big hit during rush hours and playing on the iphone or DS is about as lonely as it gets. Lets play the system.

Chromorama is a multiplayer platform that does exactly this. It animates your bleak journey as a move in the game. The whole tube network i the borad and any tap in, tap out recorded with the oyster card is a move in the game.

After a test phase last year they launched a public beta version that is now open for signing up. So far the network for players was focused on the tube network. However this has been extended to include the London Bike Scheme. When ever you check in and out your bike this now also counts as game moves.

Screen grab of October player view3
Image taken from chromorama blog / The final view is an overall global view which give the player an overivew of all the team activity. I particularly like this one becuase it has a corporeal quality and the odd look of it. Like blood pumping around the heart of the city. The players powering a metropolis, a beast coming to life, like Frank emerging from the floorboards in “Hellraiser”.

Just recently the whole visual have been reworked and it looks juicy now. ALso the mission and activities the players can participate on have been extended it looks like a lot of fun. There is for example the ‘Ghost Hunter’ mission. Currently set to “Visit Becontree between 11:00 PM and 01:00 AM within 5 days Becontree is rumoured to be haunted by a faceless woman with long blonde hair, spotted on numerous occasions by the staff there. Go there late at night, and hope you don’t see her…”

Screen grab of October player view3
Image by wearemudlark / Screen grab of October player view3.

In a sense the whole of the public transport network could become a playground and each yellow tap in point a gaming button. Commuting is about to become fun and tfl wil now make your day rather than ruin it. With this move to incorporate a fun aspect, the perception of routines is transformed and a different kind of motivation can swing the direction.

This is to some extend the vision of ‘You Are the City’ put into practice. The ‘user’ becomes a ‘player’ in the sense of an actor. This change of role definition probably makes the whole difference. Of course aspects of size and relationship help with this one.

You got the taste? Sign up HERE.

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World cup is on and I even find my self occasionally following a game with some pretended interest. What I am more interested really is the movement and the strategies. There is not much space and most of the points of orientation are moving elements. However rough positions are allocated together with assigned tasks.
There is a lot of important talking about options and chances, tactics and plans. It sounds all very sophisticated and important. But what is it in the end, 23 guys chasing the ball.
This however is random enough to generate some distinct pattern. of course random in this context means the characteristic mixture of task oriented inventive behaviour as we also observe it in everyday movement. In a very interesting blogpost Rob from Mammoth has summarised his thoughts on the similarities between football and urban movement tactics – as diagram traced on exported landscape.

Image by urbanTick /Adidas’ Match Tracker, the heath map view – game Chelsea vs International.

Analysis of the game in real time is this year available from multiple sources. Addis offers the ‘match tracker‘ or you can check out visualsports.com. The adidas tool offers a graphic replay feature that based on a movement record. It has a quite elaborated interface with an interactive time tracker below.
A very different approach took the artist David Marsh with his work ‘Some People are on the Pitch‘. He traced with pen and paper the movement of the players in the 1966 victory, the last time England won the World Cup. He also offers the selection of some particular traces, though. For example one plate is the movement of Martin Peters in the first half of the game, another is Charlton vs Beckenbauer over the full length of the match.
It is ‘Created by mapping archive footage at 1/2 real speed, using the pitch markings and the stripes of the cut grass as a coordinate system, the work follows the movement of each player against time, on and off the ball, as they move across the ‘field’ of play throughout the full 90 minutes, plus extra time.
The recorded information is then coded through a system of line type, weight and colour to allow the narrative of the recorded information to be represented and read graphically, producing a work simultaneously latent with an immense level of information, and one seemingly abstract in its aesthetic.’

some people are on the pitch by David Marsh

Image by David Marsh / ‘Alan Ball – Full Mach’ Working drawing, Ink on trace.

Details via Mammoth and Infostetics. Other football drawings can be found via SwissMiss.

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Walking the city in your shoe is one thing, but walking the internet in your shoe is quite another. So far a few key strokes and mainly the one finger to scroll and click the mouse were the tools you used to navigate the internet. This is so 2000 and has completely changed now. Adidas shows how you can navigate with your sneakers!
They have launched anew edition, the AR GAME PACK SNEAKERS and it is integrated with a new platform Adidas Neighbourhood.
The whole thing is based on AR augmented reality technology and the software will read the tag printed on the tongue of the shoe.

Image taken from Adidas / Print file to manufacture your own tag for a game teaser. Pint and fold to use as a mokup in case you havent bought the shoe yet.

So of you go running trough the Adidas Neighbourhood and chatting up the girls on the street cornet, playing the streets in the hood and hang out with the buddies. Down the steps out the door, the city is all yours!
Dream on and if you like this idea don’t read any further. Well, actually it si not quite like this. You wil find yourself squat in ten centimeter of your screen in your half dark empty room trying to line up the tag with the webcam and SHOOT star ship troopers!
Oh my goodness how boring is that. Its just another one person shooter. Instead of the mouse, the joystick you wiggle your shoe – with your hands. I have to confess I never was a big fan of one person shooters. Played them occasionally, but haven’t for a long time. And the combination of shooting and sneakers is no really not the first one I construct, but here we are.
So much exiting stuff coud be done, at least some GTA style of interaction?
Never mind, this is great and I love it anyway. Someone will come up with a better scenarion. The combination of commercial goods and virtual content has so much potential for exciting application that this is definitely a great first move. The internet of things comes to your feet. This is definitely what we are going to see a lot in the coming month.
There was already quite a some stuff last year, with BMW’s augmented comercial for the new Z4 for example or the Tales of Things project, Lego Digital Box and Adidas.
Both LEGO and Adidas are actually based on the metaio platform: “As a pioneer in the area of augmented reality (AR) technology, metaio develops software products for visual interactive solutions seamlessly combining real and virtual elements. Based on the software platform Unifeye, 3D-animations can be integrated seamlessly into the real-user`s environment.” They have also developed the junaio software an AR platform for mobile devices with a developer API, very similar to layar.
So it is a war out there and a lot of companies are battling for a few users in a emerging field. In this sense first person shooter is not so much out of place.

Image taken from hypebeat / the guys out in the hood, this is street life and this wold be what we want to see. The geolocation game Urban Defender in this sense was a lot more inspiring, but the two seem very much related and one almost want to merge them. It just needs a bit more action than just shooting.

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Leaving the mark in the city is part of the identification process. The memory hels to orientate and shape a personal image of the city. The image is shape through the interaction and influenced by a whole palet of factors. On frequently used routes this memory is refreshed and sharpened where as it can fade in certain locations. The idea to mark a place as mine, yours or theirs can take a number of shape and we are all very familiar with the fences, walls and signs imposing restriction on everyday activities. However usually this becomes more obvious with temporary restrictions or abrupt changes. Groups and institutions can impose restrictions for other, but not only using fences. Gated communities are only one way to mark a wealthy area another solution is for example the house prices or not to provide public transport.
But also on a daily basis marks are left on the way. The graffiti or the tag on the wall, the carved name in the tube seat or the note on the toilet door. We can also leave the digital marks with Brightkite or now with Tales of Things leave a mark with a digital content.

Image taken from Urban Defender page / An earlier prototype and it’s content.

A game developed at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste id picking up on this idea of marking the territory and let you play the city very much in the sense of social gangs. Urban Defender is a location aware ball game that lets you virtually mark urban elements by trowing the ball on the wall. The players get an audio and visual feedback from the ball on who ‘owns’ the feature and it can then be taken over.
“The ball itself is a prototype combination of an Arduino, Accelerometer, vibration motor, LEDs, XBee, batteries, and wire all packed inside of an industrial rubber gym ball.” (hack a day) The idea is that via the GPS the bal is aware of its location and processes the data accordingly.
A detailed documentation of the construction and programming process can be found on the Urban Defender page.
However much you know would liket to go out and play, it is still a prototype. A few problems the developer team still has to solve. One is definitely the GPS. Having worked with the technology a bit, one would need an extremely good receiver to geta clear signal, for not talking about on witch side of the road you are throwing the bal at the wall. The urban environment is tricky for the GPS and reflections on tal facades can easily give you a wrong position.
Nevertheless, this is a gaming concept that captures the imagination and I would ove to see it developed further. Game On!

Found via Pop up City.

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Gaming in the real world is currently the big thing and interactive technologies do support these activities. However there is on the other side similar effort to make games more realistic, see game engines on digitalurban. In between the two extremes, you could say, there sits Google Maps and Google Earth. Of course not as an official game but in terms of reality vs. virtual, as it virtually represents the reality. Google has so far had little aspiration to take on the games market, apart from the flight simulator in Google Earth together with release 4. There are now with the release of the new flash version some new options. Not Google, but independent developers, have started to merge some gaming interaction with Google’s virtual real world platforms.
A very early one was the Monster Milk Truck that could be driven in Google Earth. I love that one, it is hilarious with some nice, but simple effects, like jumps that made the feeling. It was made possible by the release of the Plug-In to run Google Earth in a browser.
Earlier this year we saw the launch of Monopoly based on Google Maps and now there are some new racing games out.
One is RealWorldRacer by Tom Scott. Here you can enter a destination in Google Maps as you would to find a route you are planning and off you go. There are some four cars to compete with. Along the track there are check points and you have to drive relatively close to them to deactivate. This is to make sure you are not driving off somewhere on the map, as there are currently o other bounding elements implemented.
Another tool is googleDrive developed in conjunction with the MIT by Samuel Birch, this one is said to have limitations where you can only drive on the actual roads, however it did not work on my machine so let me know what you think of it.
A third one is Driving Simulator on geoquake and here you can choose between four different vehicles. It has just released a beta version with a perspective to drive the car HERE.

Image by urbanTick – Screenshot Real World Racer : Plymouth to Exeter. You can tell, I am driing the red paper car that is going down towards Sutton Harbour.

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Real world gaming with the help of mobile gadgets with GPS are high up this week. This weekends Saturday Guardian Guide points to a gaming event that will take place over the next weekend simultaneously in three locations across the UK.
It is once more a sign of the upcoming section of location-interactive-real-world-games. Those are together with the availability of gadgets popular and also develop into more mass compatible storyboards and technologies. In an other post on real-world games HERE, looked at reinterpreted old classics.
The announced event ‘greatstreetgames’ will take place between 29 October and the 1 November simultaneously in Gateshead, Sunderland and Middlesbrough. It is set up as a competition between the three places, but anyone can join any team, it is open to the public.
Basically it will consist of a large play field projected in each location where players collect points by collecting ‘virtual’ balls. It will be a best of five series each game lasting 90 seconds. The city with the most points wins. Surprisingly the official web pages do not make a very big deal out of it. THere is very little information to be found outside the world of techies and geeks.

Image by KMA via Pruned

It is designed by KMA, collaboration between Kit Monkman and Tom Wexler. They introduce their work as follow “KMA’s work creates large, immersive, sometimes networked, ‘digital playgrounds’, in which distinctions between audiences and performers disappear. The resulting social engagements reaffirm the urban community through embodied, rather than verbal, discourse.”
The project has already featured on Pruned and was embedded in a lovely story envisioning the encounter with the projected game field as something one might stumble across in the darkness of the vast city, something that might be a discovery.
However this game is locally very confined to a rather small space as the visualisations suggest. You wont need the GPS to play, maybe to find it, if you were texted the latest location for today’s game. Nevertheless, it does connect over a large distance the three cities. From the available descriptions it is difficult to grasp how much interaction is possible between the locations, but this definitely would be the most interesting aspect. Maybe someone in Sunderland will snatch your virtual ball and drop it in their own box.
To some extend the game proposal reminds me of the ‘Where is Wally’ scene with the six team football.

Image by KMA via Pruned

As it looks, Hollywood also has realized that there is something changing in the world of gamers and games. They have implemented the aspect of real people in a virtual game for quite a while, probably because it makes of simple plots. The latest version is the ‘Gamer’ movie directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. What they haven’t yet realised is the spatial aspect of the emergent street games and with it the importance of the location.
But probably this is the point, a game is not a movie, you are not entertained, you are entertaining as you play the game.

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The urban environment has become a playground. Not only recently but together with the availability of mobile technology and location based information there was a steep rise of digitally supported large scale urban games. Since the mid nineties those sort of games have been developed. First by geeks and small communities, together with universities that had a computer science department. Nowadays the games slowly become commercialized. Only this week there was a large event on the South Bank here in London organized by Hasbro. They unveiled a new Monopoly game called “Monopoly City Streets” that uses the whole world as a play board. For this Hasbro has teamed up with Google.
It is based on Google Maps and any road can be clicked and bought, provided you have enough money. A lot of the road here in London have already been bought up and their value is rising. The road I live in is already at 1’600’000 something. Players can then also start building on the roads they own (it is a bit strange to build on the road, but I assume it is more of a technical problem). So you get this castles, energy plants and high-rises blocking the road. But it looks funny. THe task is to become the riches developer by the end of January 2010.

Image taken from Monopoly City Streets – Screenshots of the game board

A more of an interactive game in the real world is fast foot. It has won this years best mobile gaming award. It is built around GPS tracking and rather simple. It is for 4 to 5 players and played in a 1 km radius. One guy is X and the rest of the players are the runner trying to catch X.

One of the most popular eighties games Pacman has also a real world version called Pacmanhatten.

Image taken from Augentedblog – Pacmanhattan

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