What is Aachen Horror?

Well, first, it’s a pun on the popular tabletop game Arkham Horror.

The first idea about a locative game was born out of frustration. I am a pen & paper roleplayer (also called tabletop role-player). A couple of years ago, I would have had to say “I was”, though, because once I graduated from university and started a job (at university, being a doctorate student in Germany is actually a job with contract, work hours and all) time to play got sparse.

I realized that at least in my case leaving the hobby be was not because I had grown out of it, but rather because organizing a group of players, preparing the game, sticking with a given setting over a potentially long time, and so on is a lot harder to do when you have less time on your hands.

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Aachen Horror Category created

I guess it’s finally time to blog a bit about the research project that’s supposed to be giving me enough stuff to write my dissertation about, (see also here).

Quote my boss (on our chair’s wiki):

Aachen Horror is a research project to explore the possibilities of locative (location-based) gaming on modern mobile devices. As part of the Aixplorer research project, we will develop a proof-of-concept locative game to run on the Aixplorer device, our iPhone-based mobile city guide platform. For more details, contact Gero Herkenrath. First ideas can be found on Gero’s blog.

For this purpose I created a new category here. Of course I won’t be working alone on this project, a bunch of people already joined me. Here’s the place, however, where I’ll post my ideas (at least the ones I can present to the public, we don’t want anybody stealing our ideas after all :))

The Dark Side of the Moon

So what does Pink Floyd have to do with HCI? Why that post title?

Well, to be honest, I’m not even a big fan of Pink Floyd, just for the simple fact that I don’t know much of their music, at least not the early stuff. But I’ve read somewhere that the album’s title actually comes from a quote by Mark Twain: “Every one is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.” This, however, was just a bit too long as a title (and less catchy, I guess).

So, the HCI relation is clear now? Probably not, so let me elaborate.

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