Abstract

Location-aware, social, mobile games are becoming a practical reality. This investigation sought to understand if and how such technology could be utilised as an engaging vehicle for BBC content, and more specifically as a learning tool, particularly for younger members of the BBC's audience. The investigation also sought to assess the possible benefit of interlinking the "universes" of different games to create a richer, more engaging experience by, to some degree, creating the impression of there being a larger number of players in each game. This was implemented by players in one game manifesting in another form within the other. Two interlinked location-aware learning games for children were designed, developed, built and evaluated, using an Open Source platform on mobile phones and GPS receivers. A small scale controlled pilot trial was conducted with 6 players. This trial demonstrated that interactive, social, multi-player gaming experiences on mobile phones can be fun and appealing to children; that gaming experiences can be used to deliver learning experiences; and that implementing a 'multiple universes' interlinked-game concept enhanced the overall experience.