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Volume 18 / Issue 15

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DOI:   10.3217/jucs-018-15-2120


A Review of Mobile Location-based Games for Learning across Physical and Virtual Spaces

Nikolaos Avouris (University of Patras, Greece)

Nikoleta Yiannoutsou (University of Patras, Greece)

Abstract: In this paper we review mobile location-based games for learning. These games are played in physical space, but at the same time, they are supported by actions and events in an interconnected virtual space. Learning in these games is related to issues like the narrative structure, space and game rules and content that define the virtual game space. First, we introduce the theoretical and empirical considerations of mobile location based games, and then we discuss an analytical framework of their main characteristics through typical examples. In particular, we focus on their narrative structure, the interaction modes that they afford, their use of physical space as prop for action, the way this is linked to virtual space and the possible learning impact the game activities have. Finally we conclude with an outline of future trends and possibilities that these kinds of playful activities can have on learning, especially outside school, like in environmental studies and visits in museums and other sites of cultural and historical value.

Keywords: game-based learning, informal learning, location based games, mobile games, mobile learning

Categories: H.3.1, H.3.2, H.3.3, H.3.7, H.5.1