360 Illusion - CHI PAPER

360 Illusion - CHI PAPER - CHI 2009 ~ New Gaming...

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The Three-Sixty Illusion: Designing For Immersion in Pervasive Games Annika Waern Mobile Life at Interactive Institute Box 1197 SE-164 26 Kista, Sweden annika@tii.se Markus Montola Nokia Research Center Visiokatu 1 FIN-33720 Tampere, Finland markus.montola@nokia.com Jaakko Stenros University of Tampere Hypermedia Laboratory FIN-33014 University of Tampere, Finland jaakko.stenros@uta.fi ABSTRACT Pervasive games are staged in reality and their main attractiveness is generated by using reality as a resource in the game. Yet, most pervasive games that use mobile and location-based technology use reality only in a weak sense, as the location for a computerized game. In this article we analyze two game practices, Nordic style live action role-playing (larp) and alternate reality games (ARG), that instead use reality as their main game resource. We analyze how they go about creating a believable game world and encourage the players to actively take part in this world. We present two example games that do the same with the support of technology, effectively realizing an immersive game world through a combination of physical play and technology-supported play. Author Keywords Immersion, role-play, pervasive game, mobile game ACM Classification Keywords J.m Computing Applications: Miscellaneous INTRODUCTION In Hamlet on the Holodeck , Janet Murray [22] discusses the full physical immersion of the Star Trek Holodeck as a desirable aesthetic of play. Participating ‘as if it was real’, full photorealistic and even tangible immersion, is often understood as the holy grail of VR technology and computer games. By contrast, it may seem straightforward to realize full immersion in the real, physical world, where we move around, meet with each other face to face, and can touch the objects around us. When Weiser talked about ‘calm computing’ [31] his vision was of a future where human- computer interaction would be as immediate as physical interaction. Still, although the Weiser design ideal is still strong in the HCI community, it has only marginally affected research on mobile games. Instead, these have taken their main inspiration from computer games and used locative and gesture-based technology as a way to spice up an otherwise virtual experience. Although many studies report on the strong player engagement that the ‘coincidental’ relationship to the real world leads to [27], mobile games make no attempt of creating any ‘Holodeck’ illusion in the physical world. In order to understand how we can create immersive games in the real world, we need to look outside computer games and find game practices where the real world already is the stage for the game. In this article we analyze two such practices, Nordic style live action role- playing (larp) and alternate reality games (ARG) to shed light on the salient design features that these games rely on. Finally, we show how these design features have been approached in two example games, Momentum [28, 29]
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360 Illusion - CHI PAPER - CHI 2009 ~ New Gaming...

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