For the latest feature for Gamasutra sister mobile game news site GamesOnDeck, Oberon Media's Tom Söderlund discusses proximity gaming
(close-range wireless network gaming) from a game design aspect, including new types of network games, pseudo-persistent game worlds, and electronic rumors.
In this excerpt, Söderlund, as part of a long list of different types of gaming that can be designed around proximity features of mobile devices, imagines a viral game about whispered truths, with the information strengthened or weakened based on your proximity to others:
"Proximity gaming, especially in its ad hoc sense, is an ideal ground for viral game behavior. Messages and virtual items can travel between players. Players could "infect" other players that are within range.
Information within the game can be viral, too. If in-game information, such as the state of the game world or the highscore list is synchronized between players upon connection, information spreads from player to player. But as in the classic "whisper game", no player will hold the absolute truth, and the quality of the information is weakened as the distance to the source increases. The more connections each player makes, the more pieces of the puzzle she will have and thus the closer to the truth she will be. That in turn can foster social gameplay."
You can now read the full GamesOnDeck feature
on the subject, with more from Söderlund on more types of proximity based play, a case study of a mobile sports game called Proxiball, and where proximity play is headed in 2010 (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).