Back Seat Gaming

Backseat Playground , developed by John Paul Bichard, Liselott Brunnberg and Oskar Juhlin at the Interactive Institute in Stockholm, is a mobile gaming research project that will enable kids to play with the world outside their window from the back seat of a car. This augmented reality game uses a digital compass and a GPS-receiver to connect the game to the passing landscape. By aiming the device towards objects, players can defend themselves against creatures or pick up magic artefacts.


4 core areas are investigated:

1 Episodic Narratives: a way of building narratives that work as fragmented and incomplete episodes, informing an overall plot depending on the journey traveled. It will be combined with on and offline actions that will encourage players to further explore their environment and the in-game objects and stories.

2 Real World Game Engine: where the game engine is embedded in the “real” – using GIS database objects as game objects and assigning game properties to these real objects. This will allow objects in the real world to function as game objects with multiple properties, like the ability to combine objects, to query them, affect the narrative and allow the player to collect resources from the real environment.

3 De-focusing technology: how to turn the player’s attention away from the small screen and onto their everyday surroundings through the use of lightweight mobile devices.

4 Fuzzy Learning: to encourage children to explore their environments through “real world” gameplay.

Thanks John!