Game Performance Will Blur Lines Between Mobile and Desktop Play
By Eric Lin, Thu Feb 12 01:30:00 GMT 2004

Multimedia Artists Blast Theory, along with the members of University of Nottingham's Mixed Reality Lab are spending a few months as "thinkers in residence" in Adelaide, Australia. As the culmination of their residency program, they will present a new game where players in Adelaide and on the internet will chat and play alongside one another.

Blast Theory together with the Mixed Reality Lab have created a number of games that involve players present in the real world as well as players in the virtual world. Some have pitted offline against online, others have required their cooperation. A past collaboration, "Can You See Me Now?" won the Ars Electronica Golden Nica last year.

Smart Mobs reports that the game Blast Theory have created for the Adelaide Fringe festival will set up an environment where online and offline players can chat, swap tips and interact using PCs and 3G phones while searching the city of Adelaide for the elusive Frank. Although Blast Theory does not state this explicit, it appears I Like Frank is the most mobile data centric of their creations so far. The game takes place March 2 13, when we expect to hear reports of the game play itself as well as reactions.

As modern smartphones and feature phones allow developers to bridge the gap between mobile and desktop using a single protocol, they are freed to create new types of games combining the two worlds or eliminating the difference between them (save for screen size). None of Blast Theory's "performances" have been made into a commercial game yet, but they are testing modalities, paving the way for more commercial-minded developers to come in and come up with the next "Robot Wars."