UbiComp 2004 Previous Conferences Community Directory Discussion Space

Conference Program

full papers
interactive posters
doctoral colloquium
conference banquet


Hotel & Travel
Local Attractions
Conference Committee
Call for Participation


The Error of our Ways: The experience of Self-Reported Position in a Location-Based Game (Full Paper)
Steve Benford 1, Will Seagar1, Martin Flintham1, Rob Anastasi1, Duncan Rowland1, Jan Humble1, Danae Stanton1, John Bowers1, Nick Tandavanitj2, Matt Adams2, Ju Row Farr2, Amanda Oldroyd3, and Jon Sutton3
1 University of Nottingham, 2 Blast Theory, London, 3 BT Exact, Ipswich

We present a study of people’s use of positional information as part of a collaborative location-based game. The game exploits self-reported positioning in which mobile players manually reveal their positions to remote players by manipulating electronic maps. Analysis of players’ movements, position reports and communications, drawing on video data, system logs and player feedback, highlights some of the ways in which humans generate, communicate and interpret position reports. It appears that remote participants are largely un-troubled by the relatively high positional error associated with self reports. Our analysis suggests that this may because mobile players declare themselves to be in plausible locations such as at common landmarks, ahead of themselves on their current trajectory (stating their intent) or behind themselves (confirming previously visited locations). These observations raise new requirements for the future development of automated positioning systems and also suggest that self-reported positioning may be a useful fallback when automated systems are un-available or too unreliable.