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49. IdeaSpark*: GPS Cell Phone Games November 19, 2006

Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Experience, IdeaSpark*, Service.

Soon, many phones will be GPS enabled, which would allow for various new applications. Though Boost Mobile seems to be trying some games, here are some IdeaSpark variations of interactive games:

Read on for more details…


Scorched Earth: This is based on the computer game, Scorched Earth 3D. Random players in the same city will log on to battle each other, their individual GPS locations a secret to the others. Each player will take turns taking long distance shots at each other by determining the direction, angle, and power of each of their virtual shots. After each shot, the player will be told (by the central computer) how far the impact of that shot was from an opponent. Based on this data and deductive triangulation of subsequent shots, players should be able to hone in on the positions of their opponents.

Different and limited types of shots can be used (e.g. shots with larger blast radii, cluster bombs, etc). Players are allowed to move throughout the city, changing their GPS location. Though this will make them a moving target and harder to hit, it will also throw off their own shot data of opponent locations.

KAOS: This is similar to the real-time interactive reality game, KAOS (Killing As an Organized Sport; aka. Assassin or Killer). Various players (strangers) log in at one time, and each are assigned a specific target/victim (another player; a picture and basic info is given). The time frame of this game could span several days. The purpose for each player is to find and assassinate their assigned target. This is done by first honing in on the location of the target by occasionally calling the central computer to determine the distance to the target (by “pinging” the target). Eventually, a player should be able to triangulate the location of their target.

The target is assassinated if their picture is taken by a cell phone and sent in and verified by the central command, or if the assassin remains within a set distance of their target for 10 minutes. The only two safe areas for a target include their designated home (where they live) and their work place. Everywhere else, they are an open target.

For example, as an assassin, I was assigned my target, Joe. One evening, I was able to eventually track him down at a local bar. This was done by a series of pings: I pinged once, and was told that I was 0.8 miles away. I headed east, and pinged again, and saw I was 0.5 miles away. I kept doing this, and narrowed his location down to the bar. As soon as I pinged him within his killzone (say, a 10-meter radius), his own phone rang and warned him, so he bolted. I gave chase. If I am able to stay in his killzone continuously (by chasing him) for 10 minutes, he is assassinated. If I am able to take a clear picture of him, he is also assassinated. Once assassinated, he is out of the game, and I acquire the data on his target, which becomes my next target. Meanwhile, this entire time, I am being hunted by my own assassin.

I can also assassinate my target by being sure to not ping him while in his killzone (hence not warning him), and simply walking up to him and taking his picture.

Summary: this new generation of interactive gaming will get players off their couches and out into the world.


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