ACM - Computers in Entertainment

PAC-LAN

By Omer Rashid, Will Bamford, Paul Coulton, Reuben Edwards, Jurgen Scheible
3rd anniversary issue, [Vol. 4, No. 4]

DOI: 10.1145/1178418.1178425

RFID (Radio frequency identification) is often seen as an enabling technology for mixed-reality experiences where all kinds of objects, even the most mundane and inanimate, can be equipped to provide interaction between the real and virtual worlds. These mixed-reality experiences could occur in all aspects of our lives, but one of the most easily envisaged is that of computer games. As the mobile phone has become the computer carried in the pockets of a third of the population of the planet, it would seem a natural platform for these mixed-reality games. Further, the emergence of mobile phones that incorporate RFID readers gives the opportunity for creating games in which players interact with real physical objects, in real locations, and provides enhanced gameplay and experience. In this article we present details of a novel location- and object-enhanced mixed-reality version of the Namco arcade classic, Pacman. In particular, the article presents a comparison of the game to other mixed-reality versions of Pacman; the rationale behind specific design choices made during game design and its subsequent implementation; and an analysis of the experiences of people who have played the game. Our system highlights the possibilities via use of physical objects and the combination of mobile phones and RFID of yielding new mixed-reality entertainment experiences.

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