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How Urban Gaming Works -- A Primer
Geocaching is a real-world outdoor treasure
hunting game. Players try to locate hidden
containers, called geocaches, using GPS-enabled
devices and then share their experiences online.
LETTERBOXING is an intriguing pastime combining
navigational skills and rubber stamp artistry in a
charming "treasure hunt" style outdoor quest. A
wide variety of adventures can be found to suit
all ages and experience levels. Click on the menu
or desktop items above to explore this fast-
Pac-Manhattan is a large-scale urban game that
utilizes the New York City grid to recreate the
1980's video game sensation Pac-Man. This analog
version of Pac-man is being developed in NYU's
Interactive Telecommunications graduate program,
in order to explore what happens when games are
removed from their "little world" of tabletops,
televisions and computers and placed in the larger
"real world" of street corners, and cities.
A player dressed as Pac-man will run around the
Washington square park area of Manhattan while
attempting to collect all of the virtual "dots"
that run the length of the streets. Four players
dressed as the ghosts Inky, Blinky, Pinky and
Clyde will attempt to catch Pac-man before all of
the dots are collected.
Using cell-phone contact, Wi-Fi internet
connections, and custom software designed by the
Pac-Manhattan team, Pac-man and the ghosts will be
tracked from a central location and their progress
will be broadcast over the internet for viewers
from around the world.
Gnomes On The Go
GnomeOnTheGo gnomes can travel many different
ways. Because they are magnetized, they stick on
cars, trucks, or any other metallic surface. If
you are planning to travel, take your gnome with
you! Snap some photos of your gnome on your trip,
go to www.GnomeOnTheGo.com to enter a gnome
sighting. You can enter the current location of
your gnome, and post a photo of him on location.
Each gnome is assigned a unique tracking number
called a GnomeCode. Those lucky few who are
fortunate enough to meet your gnome along his
travels can report his whereabouts and upload
photos using this GnomeCode.
C.B. Radio Marco Polo or Hide and Seek
CB Marco Polo is a transmitter hunt game which has
been played for years.
The Premise of CB Marco Polo is one vehicle hides
somewhere in town and the others try to find them.
The first person to find them who hasn't already
hidden gets to hide next.
Live Action Role-Playing Game
A live action role-playing game (LARP) is a form
of role-playing game where the participants
physically act out their characters' actions. The
players pursue goals within a fictional setting
represented by the real world, while interacting
with each other in character. The outcome of
player actions may be mediated by game rules, or
determined by consensus among players. Event
arrangers called gamemasters decide the setting
and rules to be used and facilitate play.
Real Life Superheroes
The Real Life Superheroes is a culture that works
in a fun, exciting, and inspirational fashion to
make the world a better place. We are using the
iconicism of comic book superheroes to make a
difference, inspire others, spread a positive
message, and call attention to issues in our
communities. The Real Life Superheroes work to
make the world a better place by doing civic
activities, charity work, public safety patrols,
hospital visits, school talks, distributing wanted
and missing person fliers, helping the homeless,
community clean-ups, and more. From crime fighting
to charity work real life superheroes seek to help
make a positive difference in their communities.
Questing is a game played across a community or
geographic place. Originally coined in the USA, it
is similar to the concept of letterboxing where
clues lead to sealed boxes to be found in a type
of treasure hunt.
Gbanga is a mixed reality, social gaming platform
for mobile phones developed by Zurich-based
startup, Millform AG. The platform runs on real-
time locative media, developed in-house, which
means that the gaming environment changes relative
to the players real-world location. Players can
interact with each other using built-in social and
chat functions, which indicate their current
real-world locations as well as online and offline
status. Additional features enable social gaming
in forms such as exploring, collecting and
Pigeon racing is the sport of releasing specially
trained racing pigeons, which then return to their
homes over a carefully measured distance. The time
it takes the animal to cover the specified
distance is measured and the birds rate of travel
is calculated and compared with all of the other
pigeons in the race to determine which animal
returned at the highest speed.
Humans vs. Zombies
Humans vs. Zombies (HvZ) is a game of moderated tag played at schools, camps, neighborhoods, military bases, and conventions across the world. Human players must remain vigilant and defend themselves with socks and dart blasters to avoid being tagged by a growing zombie horde
An alternate reality game (ARG) is an interactive, cross-media narrative. Fictional elements of the narrative, often presented as real, include clues that lead players to discoveries that further the game. Five Lost ARGs have been produced as season hiatus activities for fans. The Lost Experience focused on the Hanso Foundation's origins; Find 815 focused on Oceanic Airlines, the Dharma Initiative Recruiting Project focused on the modern DHARMA Initiative, Lost University focuses on Lost, and Damon, Carlton and a Polar Bear focuses on artwork.
Manhunt is a large-scale game of hide-and-seek. It can be played in any outdoor area with definable borders, day or night.
Capture The Flag
Capture the Flag is a traditional outdoor sport generally played by children, where two teams each have a flag (or other marker) and the objective is to capture the other team's flag, located at the team's "base," and bring it safely back to their own base. Enemy players can be "tagged" by players in their home territory; these players are then, depending on the agreed rules, out of the game, members of the opposite team, or "in jail". (One variation of the game includes a "jail" area in addition to the flag on each team's territory.)
Location Based Urban Gaming
A location-based game (or location-enabled game) is one in which the game play somehow evolves and progresses via a player's location. Thus, location-based games almost always support some kind of localization technology, for example by using satellite positioning like GPS. "Urban gaming" or "Street Games" are typically multi-player location-based games played out on city streets and built up urban environments.
Current research trends are looking to other embedded mobile technologies such as Near Field Communication, Bluetooth, and UWB. Poor technology performance in urban areas has led some location-based games to incorporate disconnectivity as a gameplay asset.
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