ACM - Computers in Entertainment

Extending cyberspace

By Omer Rashid, Ian Mullins, Paul Coulton, Reuben Edwards
Theoretical and Practical Computer Applications in Entertainment, [Vol. 4, No. 1]

DOI: 10.1145/1111293.1111302

In the current market many game developers and publishers treat the cellular phone as just another platform to which they can port a console game; they ignore the exciting new possibilities cellular phones provide via their inherent ability to maintain connectivity while on the move. One possibility is to extend the virtual world of traditional video games through location-based information, which allows users to play games that incorporate knowledge of their physical location and landscape, and then provides them with the ability to interact with both real and virtual objects within that space. However, if such games are to become pervasive and if developers want their efforts to escape the bounds of the research laboratory, they must address the nature of the cellular environment, the precision of the location-based technologies in their region, and the present and likely future capabilities of cellular handsets. To aid innovative game development we draw together many fragmented sources of information for an assessment of technologies, and implementations of cellular location-based games. Further, we discuss practical mechanisms for producing a finer degree of location granularity, both through future technology and our novel implementations of systems that augment location-sensing. The first mechanism uses Bluetooth, which is already a pervasive component of mobile phones feature sets, and can be implemented without the need for client side software. The second implements the use of a future pervasive technology, RFID tags, now that commercial cellular handsets that incorporate RFID readers have emerged.

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