A Definition and Brief History of Location-Based Games (2001–08)

  • Dale Leorke


This chapter establishes the scope of this book’s analysis through a brief overview of location-based gaming’s history and a definition of the term. I concentrate primarily on the first ‘phase’ of location-based gaming (2001–08) during which the most prominent projects and scholarly texts about them emerged. I begin by situating location-based games within the broader history of experimentation with location-aware technologies and digital storytelling, particularly locative media art, alternate reality games (ARGs) like The Beast (Microsoft, 2001), and geocaching. I then outline the key moments in location-based gaming’s early history, concentrating on seminal games such as Can You See Me Now? (Blast Theory & Mixed Reality Lab, 2001), Botfighters (It’s Alive!, 2001), and Mogi, Item Hunt (Newt Games, 2003). Lastly, I define the term itself, considering it alongside other prominent terms such as locative gaming, ubiquitous gaming, and pervasive gaming.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dale Leorke
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre of Excellence in Game Culture StudiesUniversity of TampereTampereFinland

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