Mobile Games on the rise

“Mobile games are a typical example of small, “casual games” that attract also players who do not typically self-identify as “gamers”, and yet are interested to have some kinds of games and play as parts of their everyday life.” Franz Mäyrä, keynote speech at the IADIS Mobile Learning 2013 conference. This keynote speech was titled “From Mobile Games to Playful Communication: play in everyday life” at a mobile learning conference indicates the growing interest among researchers in mobile games for education.

At the IADIS Mobile Learning 2013 conference held in Lisbon in March, some mobile games were presented. What is most interesting about them is the way they utilize a range of technologies. The design of a mixed reality mobile game for disaster management training was presented by NTNU as a part of the work conducted in the TEL EU MIRROR project. This game is designed at the cross-section of Authentic Learning, Mobile Learning and Serious Games. Taking advantage of mobile technologies, the game can be played in buildings that provide realistic or authentic situations. The mobile game is augmented with smart objects, created for example using Arduino and barcodes. (ref: Di Loreto, Mora, Divitini. Designing Mixed Reality Mobile Games for Crisis Management Training, IADIS Mobile Learning 2013).

Another interesting mobile game was presented at the IADIS E-Society conference co-located with the Mobile Learning conference, called a Real World Edutainment (RWE) system. This game recognises learning scenes (described in the game story) from a user’s location and direction (GPS) and real-object IDs (RFID) and then presents learning materials (e.g., video and single-choice quiz/question) associated with the recognized scenes. (ref. Miki et al. Real World Edutainment System and its application to Evacuation Drill. IADIS E-Society 2013).

Both these games support collaborative learning where a team of players have to cooperate to win the game and reflection.

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