Mobile, Collaborative and Location-based Learning: a Case Study of the MobiMissions Prototype

Lyndsay Grant, Tim Rudd, Hans Daanen

01 January 2007

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MobiMissions is a new location-aware mobile phone game prototype created in partnership between Futurelab and the Mixed Reality Lab (MRL) at the University of Nottingham.

The MRL’s initial concept used cellular phone networks as a locative device to provide the structure for a mobile phone game called ‘Hitchers’1. As players move around, their phone connects to different cells, each of which has a unique ID. Some new types of phone can access the ID of the cell they are currently in, which can then act as a rough indication of the phone’s location.

This initial concept was submitted to Futurelab’s Call for Ideas2, and developed to a prototype-stage game called ‘MobiMissions’. The final game centred on the creation of ‘Missions’ consisting of photographs and text on a mobile phone, which were then released into the players’ current cell, where they remained until discovered by another player. On finding a Mission, players were able to pick it up, respond to it and drop the Mission in their current location, where it would remain. As a player’s phone moves from one network cell to another in the course of a normal day, different Missions become available to that player. Players were awarded points for creating and responding to Missions, as well as for the quality of their Missions and Responses. All Missions and their Responses were available to be viewed on a website.

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