Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Where Are the Great Location Based Games?

In his column David Daw at PC World Magazine rightfully asks the question "Where Are the Great Location Based Games?". Pointing to the most exciting examples of today such as Shadow Cities he concludes that game producers seem reluctant to leave their traditional game mechanic where place is mostly a backdrop for the action. To make location based games worthwhile, he argues, these games need to make location and place a central or at least important part of the game dynamics. i couldn't agree more. While I don't see our idea of GeoGames/OMG! (and that's short for Online Map Games) to be squarely defined as a location based game, it is certainly allowing (real) places have an important influence on the game. While we can proudly brag that we have our new fully WebGIS-based test architecture in place now (sorry, we'll have to wait a bit to release this to a wider audience) we are also increasingly aware of the difficulties in dealing with a game world fully anchored in reality. Yes, the world is not fair, some places have certain advantages that are hard to get around. Maybe playing these real world games will only generate Mirror Worlds. Wouldn't that be intriguing, and scary?

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