Smartphone enhanced, large scale live action role playing


It all started with a dream – literally.

The other night I had this weird ass dream.  I was playing a live action game (sorta like Assassin) with a GPS enabled smartphone as my guide – in this case, my Nexus One.   It seemed to go like this:

When the game was starting, the application I had purchased and downloaded notified me.  From then on, I had an assassination target, and someone had me as a target.  Additionally, there were teams – but you didn’t know who was on your team.  In fact, I hadn’t met any of the people I was playing with.

The application gave me salient information about the target, and would notify me when I was near a team member.  It was up to me to track down the target on my own and neutralize them – the app didn’t have their location information.  It did, however, have location info on my team members.  No one had a team member as a target – those people were allowed to work together if they could find each other.

This led to a wide assortment of weirdness in my dream, including finding Gabrielle (who wasn’t my wife in the dream) to be one of my team members, and large amounts of urban exploration in what was apparently a post-apocalyptic Downtown Columbus.

What’s more interesting to me is that the idea is totally feasible.  Using technology available right now, one could write an application that lets a person register for the live action game.  The app could be terminate and stay resident in order to provide notifications, or the central server could text users with broadcast information.

Once the game is started and everyone is online, you would log into the app, and your target information would be available from the application.  Research tools might be built in.  Mapping with waypoints is essential.

Most interesting is the peer to peer sharing of GPS data.  If you got near a team member, the application would let you know – perhaps even using bluetooth as a closer metric than the GPS.  Once thus notified, observation and hensojutsu would be your guide, and you may have a valuable partner in the game, if you play the cards right.

This could be played in a company, or a group (like a school) or a city, or even nationally or globally is money no object.  What’s more, it shouldn’t be that tough to write. I don’t have the chops to do it on any mobile platform as things stand right now, but it would probably have to be built for Android, iPhone and Windows Mobile 7.  There would be pretty strict requirements for the hardware, but I bet you could make some coin if you set it up, and it would be a hell of a lot of fun.

If someone does it, invite me.  I might not build the app, but I sure will play.

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