Seminars & Colloquia

Sebastian Matyas

Otto-Friedrich-University Bamberg

"Geogames -- Getting Gamers on the Move"

Friday May 29, 2009 10:30 AM
Location: 3211, EB2 NCSU Centennial Campus
(Visitor parking instructions)

This talk is part of the Future of Games Series


Abstract: Movement plays an increasing role in the game space. The traditional image of interactive entertainment - games that reduce players' physical involvement to moving a joy stick - is obsolete. Games researchers and designers are already integrating complex movement into games; Nintendo's Wii, Sony's EyeToy, or Konami's Dancing Stage are good examples. Games for these devices might use simple sensor contacts, such as stepping on a dancing mat, or more intricate forms of movement captured by video or infrared, such as waving gestures to trigger game events. They involve moving parts of the body but only limited displacement of the body as a whole.

In this talk I will present what we think is the next logical step in this process, games that use respectively require the displacement the whole body. This way we define location-based mobile games as games that use some sort of mobile device that features some sort of localization technology, for example GPS, and use as one of their main game element the movement of the player as a whole.

Although there exist some early examples of location-based mobile games, even commercial ones, it is still not completely understood how the physical challenges (locomotion) of such a game interact with the strategic elements (reasoning) and how each contributes to the game playing experience. Our Geogames framework ( has been designed to systematically explore that issue. This framework enables a game designer to turn almost any classical board game or card game -- together with its specific form of strategic reasoning -- into a location-based mobile game. A special synchronization mechanism controls the spatio-temporal game flow of a Geogame and permits the seamless integration of educational content.

Further topics in this talk are the spatial separation of players, Geogames for linear game boards, where players are only interested to move in one direction, and the design principles for location-based mobile games with purpose.

Short Bio: Sebastian Matyas is a PhD candidate at the Chair of Computing in the Cultural Sciences and research assistant at the Laboratory for Semantic Information Technology since 2004 at the University of Bamberg. In his PhD project he is interested in data quality aspects of geospatial documents created by communities of voluntary contributors. His other main research interests are in the field of semantic information technology, spatial data handling and mobile applications, especially location-based mobile games. As part of his further scientific tasks he has done reviewing work for the German Artificial Intelligence (KI 2006), the Geographic Information Science (AGILE 2007), the Advances in Computer Entertainment (ACE 2008) and the Computer Human Interaction (CHI 2009) conference. Furthermore he was part of the program committee for the Gameo-On NA (2006 and 2007) and the Game-On (2007) conference series.

Host: R. Michael Young, Computer Science/DGRC, NCSU

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