Turf Bombing: Location-Based Game for Exploring the Real World

Turf Bombing: Location-Based Game for Exploring the Real World
technology
Scott Lachut, PSFK Labs
  • 9 december 2008

As GPS enabled devices continue to evolve, we expect the trend of online applications that engage us in unique ways with our actual physical environments to continue developing increasingly novel uses for our lives.  One of the obvious ways is through play.  We’ve previously written about Parallel Kingdom, a location based game where users’ real world wanderings correspond to in-game movements. More recently we came upon Turf Bombing, a game that forms players into loosely associated “gangs” through shared zip codes, and whoseultimate goal is to control the most territory. Participants complete these tasks by exploring different neighborhoods, cities and even countries in real time, setting “time bombs,” game play devices that appear on the map, along the way.  When these “bombs” explode, the particular area in dispute is taken over by the collective group who performed the action.  Simultaneously, rivals are given the opportunity to find and diffuse these mechanisms, in order to maintain control of their respective domains. As individuals successfully complete their missions, they rise in rank among their gang, allowing them to exert more influence and power within the game sphere.  This is an interesting example of an application that rewards users for getting outside of their comfort zones and visiting new places that they might not have experienced otherwise.  Which despite the underlying message of competition, is the best way to breed understanding.

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