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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Some random thoughts on my dissertation topic

The first, and hopefully not last, blog post is already just some rambling mess. I wrote it very, very spontaneously and basically just let out what I had on my mind. I make unfounded claims, sure, but the whole thing is just an idea. Jan was so kind to provide me with some feedback already (I marked it in red).

Some parts might be a little weird (some might even say embarrassing, but I usually am not embarrassed when giving away details of my geeky childhood. 🙂 ), so be prepared for a laugh or two.

I’d appreciate feedback, just leave it in a comment.

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Neater blog started

The template for blogs that my chair offers looked kind of… well, ugly (sorry, boss), so I decided to switch to a blog run on my own, private domain. This will also grant me more control over what I can do, especially commenting should be a lot easier for people.

I will migrate the old blog (so far only one article anyways) very soon.

For those interested: I will keep the entire blog in English, because that’s getting to a broader audience (haha, as if anyone would really read this thing here…)