I spent the afternoon with colleagues from Screen Media Lab and User Lab brainstorming ideas for a social media game which we’ve called @brumtag.  The first game will be a demonstrator project for the Lucid Project: an exploration of the potential of wireless devices to deliver context-aware information.

Lucid have developed a Java applet that can be installed on any Java enabled phone (edit: they have also written an iPhone app). This applet turns the phone into a QR code scanner. Lucid was all set to deliver a demonstration of how the QR codes can be “scanned” by camera phones to deliver context based information but a key partner pulled out.  I’d been bouncing the idea of a social media based treasure hunt around with BCU colleague Paul Bradshaw and local blogger Jon Bounds and then promptly forgotten about it. This seemed like a good opportunity to resurrect the idea.

We were up against some constraints: the project has to be delivered in March, and the software has already been written so we had to build the game around that framework.  Luckily it all seems to link together although the final product is more of a “scavenger hunt come tresure hunt come game of tig” then the original “Tweasure Hunt” concept.

Here’s what we came up with as a basic idea:

The winners will be the players that get the most points during game time.

I realise that there are some issues with the game, not least of all that it relies on people being pretty comfortable with technology: it’s not very inclusive. The idea of this game isn’t to answer every question about context based data but to inspire and show some of the ways that the software could be used and developed. I’m not involved with the further development of the project – I’ve done my bit now – so if you want to find out more it’s best to contact the team at Lucid. We will of course forward any feedback collected below to the Lucid team.

Provisional date for the game is Saturday 21st March, 12pm – 5pm. I for one am looking forward to playing @brumtag.

Birmingham Centre For Media And Cultural Research

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