Gaming in a Geospatial World

In our earlier examination of mirror worlds, augmented reality,  MMOGs, and the like, we had not yet come across a detailed look at the impact of gaming in the geospatial world.  However, given the rapid growth in both of these sectors, it is not surprising that – finally – some careful thought is being given to how a continuum of ‘gaming environments’ ranging from the pure virtual to the partially-virtual/real to fully engaged real-based simulations may develop.  As Jeff Thurston and Matt Ball so ably noted in their blog:

“…The evolution of gaming to a more participatory and realistic environment, plays into the needs of the geospatial community. We are in need of greater realism, and the expanded demand of the gaming community means that there is a revenue stream to pay for the collection of more detailed and realistic models. The geospatial community is in need of more interdisciplinary interaction, and the creation of more collaborative gaming platforms could help pave the way for more interactive simulation environments that could be harnessed to understand earth systems….”

“…The history of gaming has largely been oriented toward fictional characters, places and worlds – virtual. In recent times these worlds have turned toward becoming more reality-based games, built using real information and spatial data and simulating human behavior. This has meant a bridging of game technology with surveying generated data, cadastral and parcel mapping, land use / management software, CAD / GIS / GPS and so on. In the future, highly modeled games based on real spatial will become even more popular I think.

…gaming offers the potential to educate and understand the world around us and to construct it with the greatest chances for sustainable outcomes which increase our quality of life. Its applications are in business, education, health, military, environment, planning and many more areas.
In the future, I think the role of geotechnology will be to provide raw data into the ‘spaces’ of how we ‘game’ (model) our living, through all scale and space. Interestingly, the surveying community has not jumped on board gaming in a big way. Yet, it is that community that holds the highest accuracy data that can be used to create the most useful applications. Why not feed topographic data into water management gaming? Why not include make virtual farms and manage them with GPS related techniques and technologies linked to stock markets and consumption patterns? Why not develop games that assess data quality linked to surveying data and local planning? This all applies to GIS / CAD as well, though these two have their foot in the door already.

Distributed GIS, for example, offer the possibility today, to not only generate spatial data and share it, but to gain feedback from locally created and used spatial services – all of which can become further modelled across networks and ‘gamed’. Why not incoporate real-world complex GIS data and services into games that people can learn about their communities from?…”

This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 28th, 2007 at 2:14 pm and is filed under Blog.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. 

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