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Blowtooth : Pervasive Gaming in Unique and Challenging Environments
Blowtooth : Pervasive Gaming in Unique and Challenging Environments
Blowtooth : Pervasive Gaming in Unique and Challenging Environments
Blowtooth : Pervasive Gaming in Unique and Challenging Environments
Blowtooth : Pervasive Gaming in Unique and Challenging Environments
Blowtooth : Pervasive Gaming in Unique and Challenging Environments
Blowtooth : Pervasive Gaming in Unique and Challenging Environments
Blowtooth : Pervasive Gaming in Unique and Challenging Environments
Blowtooth : Pervasive Gaming in Unique and Challenging Environments
Blowtooth : Pervasive Gaming in Unique and Challenging Environments
Blowtooth : Pervasive Gaming in Unique and Challenging Environments
Blowtooth : Pervasive Gaming in Unique and Challenging Environments
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Blowtooth : Pervasive Gaming in Unique and Challenging Environments

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  • 1. Blowtooth: Pervasive Gaming in Unique and Challenging Environments Conor Linehan, Ben Kirman, Shaun Lawson, Mark Doughty, Lincoln Social Computing Research Centre (LiSC)
  • 2. Introduction
    • We created a pervasive game that requires players to use strangers to smuggle virtual drugs through real airport security .
  • 3. Blowtooth
    • The player plants small amounts of contraband on unwitting fellow travellers.
    • The player must retrieve as much of their stash once it is “safe” to do so, e.g. at the other side of a security check.
      • Forced to wait at least 10 minutes
    • Points are awarded based on the number of packages recovered.
    • Can the combination of this very simple game mechanic and the unique airport environment produce an interesting and engaging experience?
  • 4. Disclaimer
    • Of course no real drugs are involved
    • The game simply polls a player’s vicinity for Bluetooth devices, and allows the player to conceptually dump or retrieve contraband from those devices.
    • No interaction with the other devices is made other than to discover it’s unique hardware address
    • The “patsies” or drug mules are never made aware that they were involved in the game.
  • 5. Why?
    • The intention is to challenge opinions on appropriate locations for play
    • Are high security environments a suitable place to situate pervasive games ?
    • A response to the growing role of our own devices as spies/surveillance tools for the state.
    • “ 1984 is not what happens when privacy is lost, it is what happens when the camera only points one way”
  • 6. Pervasive Games
    • Pervasive games should not be just about the technology . They should be about context
      • Tired of treasure hunts set on University Campuses?
    • Real environments aren’t boring!
    • Real environments already elicit curiosity, intrigue and excitement. Let’s exploit that
      • places, spaces, societal attitudes, behavioural norms
    • The environment should not just be where a game happens to be played, but an integral part of the game itself
  • 7. Security & Surveillance
    • Airport is a high security and high tension environment where
      • oppressive control technologies are implemented
      • Expectations of privacy/freedom are altered.
      • Mysterious authorities have special powers to search and detain.
      • different expectations on travellers’ behaviour than would be expected outside of this context.
      • They are “Non-Places”
  • 8. Pervasive games in airports?
    • So, is it really a good idea to play games based on the narrative of illegal activities in the most secure environment the typical citizen is likely to encounter over the course of their lives?
    • Pilot study – We had 6 participants play the game through real international airports.
    • Player comments suggest that Blowtooth was an engaging, fun, and thought-provoking experience that “really helped relieve boredom,” related to international travel.
  • 9. alt.Discussion ….(contd)
    • CHI Review discussions were very active
      • Playing the game could have some real effects on the security of airports – distracting security staff, causing false alerts
      • Some wanted more powerful tools for finding stashes. Privacy was not an issue for them.
      • This game teaches real, transferrable skills to help drug smugglers/illegal activity.
      • this work is an apology of crime
  • 10. alt.Discussion
      • Appropriate games could be used to ease anxiety in tense environments
      • Critical games – examining your environment - the narrative triggers players to think like a drug smuggler
      • Relation of media to context - while it maybe socially acceptable to read an Andy McNabb novel at an airport, it might be less acceptable to play the infamous "Airport Scene" from Modern Warfare 2
  • 11. Future Work
    • New multiplayer server based version unveiled this week – www.blowtooth.com
    • Allows leaderboards, awards for airports each player has smuggled-through, for tracking of the movement of packages, stealing of other peoples stashes.
    • Also – we are creating the top 10 list of easiest airports through which to smuggle drugs
      • This list will be available for sale. Unmarked bills in a brown envelope, please.
  • 12. www.blowtooth.com

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