Sunday, January 27, 2008

Wherigo Brings Narrative to GPS Games

I enjoy the outdoors and have been an on-again/off-again geocacher for some time. Which is why I was fascinated by Garmin's work to create a platform for merging GPS technology and some kind of electronic game narrative. Wherigo is a platform for building GPS based games or tours. These tours, called cartridges, can be created by anyone with a GPS and the Wherigo software, uploaded to the Wherigo site, downloaded, and played by anyone with a Wherigo-compatible device. Cartridges could contain:
  • a virtual tour of a historic area complete with audio-visual annotation on the device
  • a virtual pub crawl for your friends
  • a scavenger hunt
The possibilities for this are unlimited. How about locative/interactive art? Sound familiar? Of course you have to have a compatible device to play Wherigo cartridges. So far that's limited to Garmin's latest Colorado line of GPS receivers and a few handheld windows devices. That will hopefully improve over time. This is certainly an interesting development and it may inspire a whole new wave in outdoor gameplay. A great way to mix gadgets and exercise. Lets go out and play!

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