The Amazing City Game
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Smartphones with capabilities for wireless Internet and GPS have become increasinglycommon in recent years, and a consequence of this is that pervasivegames have become more interesting from both an academical and a commercialpoint of view. Another area of interest is lifelong learning, which offers amore modern take on education compared to the traditional learning model. Inthis thesis we aim to discover whether or not pervasive gaming can help achievelifelong learning. This is done by creating a prototype of a pervasive game ina lifelong learning context for Android, analyzing the effectiveness of the prototype,and using the experiences drawn from it to design a platform to runknowledge competitions.We achieved this by conducting a prestudy on the Android mobile phone operatingsystem (including extension applications), the history of Trondheim, lifelonglearning, pervasive games, and the use of pervasive games in a lifelong learningcontext. During the prestudy we found out that there are several externalapplications and features of Android that can be utilized to expand the social,spatial, and temporal expansions of pervasive games. We also found that, intheory, pervasive games proved to be a suitable platform to support lifelonglearning.We then designed and developed a prototype on Android to run a puzzle racecalled The Amazing City Game . The race consisted of completing differenttasks related to the history of Trondheim, while traveling between many of thehistorical sites in the city. A demonstration race was conducted in early May withfour groups of two students each, using the authors and supervisors of this thesisas group observers. At the end of the race, the participants filled out a survey.Using the observations from the race and the results from the survey we foundthat the prototype was perceived as fun and educational. However, constructionof the race was challenging with many pitfalls concerning ambiguous tasks, useof language, and game balance.Finally, we have provided a possible design for a platform for running knowledgecompetitions. We used the experiences from the development of the prototype,and the results from the demonstration race to design a cleaner and more completeframework. This includes a refinement of the existing functionality anduser interface, adding requirements, and providing an extended discussion ontopics such as having an online community, possible server solutions, and securitymeasures against cheating. We believe that the concept of puzzle races in alifelong learning context is an interesting concept that could have positive effectsif utilized in the real world.