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Cellphones Games

Gaming With GPS On Your Smartphone 43

Barence writes "If your handset doesn't get you out and about, tramping through mud, climbing around and hunting for hidden treasure, then something needs an upgrade. The iPhone, Blackberry's Storm and Bold lines, and many Symbian and Android handsets, now sport GPS, which makes your smartphone the ticket to join a global movement of outdoor games. These are outbound challenges that pit teams and solo players against themselves and each other in the search for hidden treasure, undiscovered landmarks, and hidden spots all over the world. This article delves into several of the best smartphone-friendly real-world games, each of which is a bridge between the online and offline worlds."
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Gaming With GPS On Your Smartphone

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  • by rat7307 ( 218353 ) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @03:42AM (#31295368) Homepage

    Travel bugs are a part of Geocaching, not some separate game. (To be even more specific, travel bugs are a part of's version of geocaching.....)

    Love geocaching, not too sure about geodashing though, it's a bit too random for me!

  • GPS is old! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Mad Merlin ( 837387 ) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @03:46AM (#31295382) Homepage

    Phones with GPS are by no means a new phenomenon at all. Even the RAZR has GPS, and it's rapidly approaching 6 years old now.

    • by ischorr ( 657205 )
      Nobody said it was brand new (although I think it'd be a pretty big stretch to call the RAZR a "smartphone"...Certainly by today's standards) However, the point is that a much, much larger number of people now have smartphones (phones able to run fairly sophisticated apps) with GPS in them. It's not new, just more common. I agree with Geocaching, BTW. I love that game (sport?). I just did one today while the wife and I were out on a hike.
      • by mdwh2 ( 535323 )

        although I think it'd be a pretty big stretch to call the RAZR a "smartphone"...Certainly by today's standards

        That makes no sense. No smartphone of the past, even the best on the market of the time, would be a smartphone by "today's standards". The original Iphone certainly wouldn't either, for example.

        And anyhow, if it isn't a smartphone, that just proves the point even more - if even years old non-smartphones had GPS, there's certainly nothing special about a modern high end smartphone having it.


    • Utter nonsense. The RAZR certainly didn't launch with GPS, and if it has it now, it is an addition to one of the very recent models.
      • My RAZR is from 2006, and it has GPS. As far as I know, it's one of the original models. Go into Settings -> Location and you'll see that you can turn GPS on and off.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dfm3 ( 830843 )
      GPS is nothing new in phones, but sadly end-user access to GPS functionality is still being hindered by many phone manufacturers. My current phone ( a G'zOne []) has a GPS receiver, but it's only useful for E911 purposes unless I buy an extra subscription for some sort of mapping service. Even then I still couldn't use the phone as a basic GPS receiver due to software limitations.
    • by Tempsi ( 1657783 )
      Benefon ESC! had GPS and maps in 2001. []
  • by tangent3 ( 449222 ) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @03:52AM (#31295418)

    If camera is all dark and GPS is not receiving any signal, player is eaten by the Grue.

  • All of these can be done with just GPS coordinates and devices. I was expecting something more creative.
    • A long time ago on a game programming forum I came up with the idea of a game I called "car wars". At the time, hand-held GPS units were just becoming commonly available (though still rather expensive) and you could hook a cellphone and a GPS unit to laptops. I couldn't afford to try it, and neither could anyone else.

      The idea was that this would be a sort of server-based Atari "Battle Zone" game, but played in your car. The PC would show a real-time radar map, and your car on it. You would have to visit r
  • Please Rob Me (Score:4, Insightful)

    by naz404 ( 1282810 ) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @04:37AM (#31295564) Homepage
    I love that GPS game where people broadcast to the entire web on Foursquare/Twitter that they're not home so you rob their houses blind! :D []
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ChiRaven ( 800537 )
      On the other hand, my home security system has a real-time camera that will send pictures to my cell phone (or to my security company, if I choose) if anybody DOES try to break into my house while I'm gone. And yes, it DOES have substantial battery backup AND its own cell phone link, so cutting the wires to my house will NOT help the burglars one bit. Technology giveth as well as taketh away.
    • by Zerth ( 26112 )

      I love the game where you blather about your brand new *expensivewidget* you will be missing while you are out, post false GPS coordinates showing you in another state, and then wait in your living room closet with a weapon and a video camera.

  • N5800 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Luckyo ( 1726890 )
    Nokia has published ovi maps racing, which is essentially micro machines in real world. Really fun game, you essentially create tracks based on real world maps stored on your phone, and can race on them. Brings a whole new level of fun to make a track around your neighbourhood and share it with friends. Real killer app for nokia and GPS has been their sports tracker though, which isn't a game. Sadly it became a pay application after its enourmous success as a free one.
  • Mwahahhaha I will hide lonts of stuff.
  • In practice, most citizens, with a right to privacy most of the time, don't have it. Most government, and some corporate employees, who should be accountable to many people and don't always have as many rights to privacy, can afford to get it somehow. Most of us simply can't afford the costs of real privacy - having a staff to do non-tracked purchases, watch your house or company, fully secure your cell, gps, blackberry, web and desktop uses, encrypt your every transmission, get anonymous connections, etc,
  • Lame. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Hurricane78 ( 562437 ) <deleted@slashdot ... minus physicist> on Saturday February 27, 2010 @08:55AM (#31296218)

    I’ve tried these “games”. And while there are many out there, they are pretty lame. And GPS is way too inexact anyway. And it doesn’t work in buildings. Or between high buildings. Or in the woods. Or pretty much everywhere where it would be fun.

    So it’s a lot of moving. In your everyday scenery.
    Sorry, but this can’t beat alien 3D worlds and game physics.
    Plus: What geek likes sports anyway? ;)

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Plus they don't have respawning worked out yet.

    • No.... plain GPS receivers doesn't work in buildings, in the woods. But if there is data network, then things change.
      The new wave in LBS is merging A-GPS with social location information and other data.
      Mobile phones have A-GPS (Assisted GPS) and other technologies, like Cell ID based locations and WIFI Hotspots information. By merging all this information, "positioning systems" that are not simply GPS anymore are getting much better.
      A-GPS gathers Almanaque and Ephemeris data from the network, "making a weak

  • The iPhone, Blackberry's Storm and Bold lines, and many Symbian and Android handsets


    And many/most Windows Mobile smartphones had it too, before half of these even existed. And it's not like they're at a disadvantage for "GPS games", e.g. Geocaching Live [] is only available for Java/WinMo. I know this is Slashdot, but come on...

    • by mdwh2 ( 535323 )

      It's the mobile market according to Slashdot, don't you know: it consists of Apple (with apparently greater than 50% share), with the rest filled by Google, and then RIM. Windows is only mentioned to make the Iphones look better. No other company exists. Although I'm gobsmacked that they referenced Nokia for once.

  • One of the most interesting GPS games I've seen in a while is Wherigo [], which was developed by the same folks who run (disclaimer: I'm a prominent geocacher). It's an interactive location based game that works by way of "cartridges" that can be downloaded to certain GPS receivers and smart phones. Possibilities include simple tours of parks or historic areas, interactive games that require you to visit certain spots to unlock other locations, or complex lifesize mazes or whack-a-mole style gam
  • Geocaching (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    My family has been geocaching for about 10 years. I've tried it about 10 times with a smartphone and found the GPS to be less than accurate enough for that use. At times, the phone GPS would tell me to head in an opposite direction from where the cache actually was located and getting within 20-50 ft was my only expectation. Well, they fail on that too.

    A $120 Garmin hiking GPS that my sister uses was always more accurate. It seemed to point directly into the location and was always within 20ft of the cache.

  • We have a whole bunch of add on games for our Android GPS game called
    Back Seat Driver

    Our goal is to build smart-cars that drive themselves. Piece by piece, we will achieve this.
    First speed limits
    Then aftermarket self-steering (for limited roads at first)
    Then auto-trains, so you can go coast-to-coast and wake up in Yellowstone!

    But first, we yell at you if you speed....

    speedlimits []
  • I love GPS

"I don't believe in sweeping social change being manifested by one person, unless he has an atomic weapon." -- Howard Chaykin