Featured projects (2)
Investigate affordances of using web GIS mapping and processing as a foundation for multi-user online role-playing and board games.
Featured research (2)
This book brings together contributions from researchers, GIS professionals and game designers to provide a first overview of this highly interdisciplinary field. Its scope ranges from fundamentals about games and play, geographic information technologies, game design and culture, to current examples and forward looking analysis. Of interest to anyone interested in creating and using Geogames, this volume serves as a channel for sharing early experiences, discussing technological challenges and solutions, and outlines a future research agenda. Games and play are part of human life, and in many game activities, place, space and geography plays a central role in determining the rules and interactions that are characteristic of each game. Recent developments and widespread access to mobile information, communication, and geospatial technologies have spurred a flurry of developments, including many variations of gaming activities that are situated in, or otherwise connected to the real world.
As researchers start to conceptualize human-environmental interactions through coupled human and natural systems research, the non-linear, dynamic, heterogeneous, feedback loops that are characteristic of those systems challenges a long-standing Newtonian paradigm of systems reducible to component parts, deterministic behavior, and the existence of equilibrium. As an alternative, complex systems researchers often use agent-based models (ABM) or multi-agent systems (MAS) to model and simulate complexity in human-environmental interactions. This paper briefly reports on the development of a novel cyberinfrastructure portal solution called GeoGames. This computing environment integrates and leverages web-GIS and multiplayer online game technology to enable simulations of real-world scenarios of coupled human and natural systems applicable to anything from cities, urban regions to other human settlements. While there are some similarities between GeoGames and games like SimCity, and Civilization, a fundamental idea underlying the GeoGames approach is the focus on creating an on-line world that mirrors (c.f. Gelernter, 1991) authentic real-world geography, realized by a full range of GIS supported mapping and processing services (Ahlqvist, Loffing, Ramanathan, & Kocher, P). In the context of our prototype platform we present the emerging area of Spatial Game Analytics (Drachen & Schubert, 2013) that provides an uncharted area for data-intensive geospatial scenario analysis. Our example scenario is a game that models the relationships of land management on hydrology and water quality. Our presentation is illustrated with examples from our own prototype platform that has generated a significant amount of user data on game play decisions and behavior. Exploratory GeoGame analytics are used to mine the spatial behavior of hundreds of players in order to identify how variations in the rules (land use policies) and varying locations (spatial configurations) affect the simulation outcomes.
- Department of Geography
About Ola Ahlqvist
- Ola Ahlqvist currently works at the Department of Geography, The Ohio State University. Ola does research in Quantitative Social Research, Communication and Media and Cartography. His most recent project is 'Online map games.'