Location-basedapplications’ importance appears in their critical utilization in areas such aslocation tracking (e.g. police systems to track criminals), traffic navigation(e.g.
e-maps to avoid traffic jams) and most importantly dispatching emergencysignals (e.g. Marine navigation).
Location-based applications rely on GlobalPositioning System (GPS), which was first implemented and used as a project forthe U.S Army in 1973 then was launched in 1980s for civilians.GPS is aradio navigation system that allows users anywhere on land, sea and flying todetermine their exact location, velocity, and time 24 hours a day, in allweather conditions, anywhere in the world.
24 GPS satellites 21active and 3 spare are in orbit at 10,600 miles above the earth. The satellitesare spaced so that from any point on earth, four satellites will be above thehorizon. Each satellite contains a computer, an atomic clock, and a radio. Onthe ground, any GPS receiver contains a computer that “triangulates”its own position by getting bearings from three of the four satellites.
Theresult is provided in the form of a geographic position – longitude andlatitude – to, for most receivers, within a few meters away.Sincesmartphones are the most worn gadget in the 21st century, GPS hasbeen introduced to smartphones’ owners. GPS technology has been adjusted toaccount for smartphones’ hardware, with limited battery-life and delicatesensors and receivers.Ahuge growth in the gaming applications in general and location-based gammingapplications that was mostly sensed over the recent few years and the trend isexpected to continue with more ideas and tools developing every day, whichopened a huge market and business ideas.
One huge advantage of location-basedgaming is to make children and adults move while playing so they may develophealthier bodies along with mental exercising, which maybe like a fun workoutinstead of playing while sitting. Location-based games let users live in areal-life game, more precisely they physically interact through movement as thecore gameplay action.MobileLocation-based Gaming is developing more and more everyday using the newtechnologies available on the mobile devices including positioning, cellulardata or wireless internet and image recognition. Examples of such games include geocaching, BotFighters, Ingress, and Pokémon Go. LGB is definedas a form of play that is designed to be played on a device in motion andchanges the game experience based on the location. To create a location-basedexperience usually a connection to other devices, e.g. a server or otherplayers is used.
LBS usage possibilities are based on the market:A-Entertainment: Thepurpose of all games is for entertainment and having fun. However, games from abusiness point of view, market usually focus on entertainment in order to generatethe highest profit. Since only recently smart phones has developed the requirementsto fulfill running games for the market. One of the games that have been publishedin 2011 is Shadow Cities. In this game the player takes the role of a magicianor a regular non magician trying to kill magician character in the game.
Themagician can then use magic spells to defeat hostile players or non-playercharacters. The factor of the location is included in the game in the way thatthe game world is an exact map of the real world and the players’ charactermoves together with the players’ smart phone. Besidesthe games that are currently being published and use state of the art graphics,text based LBGs have been developed since Botfighters got published in 2000. InBotfighters, a Cell-ID based game, the player had to send a SMS to find nearbyplayers. Once a player was found, he could be shot by sending another SMS.B-Education: LBGs can alsobe used for educational purposes, they can be used in many possibility: it canbe used for connecting places and stories. One example for LBGs is using theSearch and Find game pattern it is possible to add the historical locations or regularlocations of a city or countries or continents and information about them intoa game.
In this way the player can learn about history and geography in adifferent and entertaining way. Another example is the LBG Savannah. In this gamechildren can learn about the wild life and animals live, how lions live andhunt in the African savannah and how do they survive. In the game the childrenplay outside and move around as their character as the lion or as other animalthat is chases by the lion on the virtual game field. The difference between avideo game that tells the same story within a virtual world and a LBG is thecloser link between game and reality in the latter. By visiting real places thestory becomes more real as the children is living the experience and thus leadsto a higher educational effect. This effect can be used to convey locationspecific knowledge in a more creative and fun way, but since the knowledge hasto be related to only locations , the areas where LBGs can be used foreducation are limited. In areas like history education this is usually the caseso that historical events can be told in a more lively way.
While it is alsopossible to convey knowledge which is not related to a location within a LBG,it is then not possible to utilize the beneficial effects of the connectionbetween real world and game. C-Physical Activity: Due to the increase every day in obesity and a lack ofphysical activity in games on the computers or mobiles or PlayStation, gaming systemslike the Wii or Xbox were developed to help solve this problem, but the range requiredfor movement for these systems is very limited. Exercises usually take place ina small space in front of the gaming system and involve limited body movementover a short distance for a short period the duration of the game only. Forthis reason, it cannot be compared to real world sports and does not help in decreasingobesity. Trying to find a solution thatcombines both physical activity with video games and using exercising whileplaying was a challenge then came the LBGs they usually involve a lot ofmovement because physical activity is the core of these LBGs. Depending on thegame the player has to move a great distance in order to continue in the gameand win.
One game that incorporates physical activity as coreof the game is Tourality. In this game players can create racing routes in thereal world and make them available to other players. For every geographical locationwhere a route is available a player can accept the challenge and start therace. The race is then completed by running along the path defined by thechosen route. Depending on the game mode the locations that create the routehave to be reached in a different order. The common goal of all modes, however, is to completethe route as quickly as possible. Based on the time required to complete theroute, a high score is created, challenging players to perform even better andcomplete the race faster.
This example shows that even though basic physicalactivity is part of every LBG, it can be the dedicated goal. In the case ofTourality it is the core of the game. However, due to the design of theapplication, it still is a game and thus it does not appear to the player inthe same way as dedicated physical activity. This shows that LBGs bear greatpotential in the sector of games for physical activity. D-Advertising Location data is one of the important location-based services,it is already been greatly used to customize advertising by using the current geographicallocation of the user. This shows how significant the value of location-basedservices in advertising nowadays. One option to use LBGs for advertising is toincorporate advertising in the game.
This is done by showing banner advertisingdepending on the location of the player, depending on which country or regionis to customize the ads showing to him. With this method it is possible to advertiselocal businesses and display offers in shops close by to the player’s geographicallocation. Another option is to use a LBG to influence the realworld movement of customers. For example a game could take place in asupermarket or mall.
Within the game the player could collect some sort ofcoins that are hidden or scattered at different places of the supermarket ormall. Upon completing the game the player could be awarded with a coupon ordiscount to use for this shop or all shops within the mall. By offering thegame for free and a giving a benefit for completing the mission, a lot ofcustomers would be interested in playing the game while shopping in order toreceive the coupon or discount. The game operator can then place the coins todirect the players new products or things that are not sold as frequently asexpected or give them discount on expensive products so it would be sold more orto move on to the next level of the game the player has to buy something from aspecific shop or place. The range of possibilities and the potential increasein revenue by using LBGs for advertising indicate that LBGs will be used in thefuture to promote new products or influence the movement of customers. There iscurrently a high interest in the geographical location of smart phones users’shows that the market volume for LBGs is rapidly increasing.