Interview on mobile storytelling

„Spielwiese“ is a new format on the German On-3-Radio on innovative digital media. For their second episode they interviewed me about the topic mobile storytelling.

During the interview we played a mission created by teenagers during my latest media education project at the Multikulturellen Jugendzentrum (more about the project).

You can listen to the episode online (its in German).
To play the file either use this direct link or do it the propper way by
  1. clicking here
  2. and then scrolling down to „Komm spiel mit uns“ and pressing „play“ there

The interview is between 29:20 and 35:40.

They also released filmed footage of the interview. But there is not much info in there. Just us playing GPS Mission and occasionally cracking bad jokes.

Mobile Storytelling

Did you ever stumble on the term „Mobile Storytelling“? It basically refers to storytelling technology that incorporates awareness of locative, spatial and contextual factors in mobile interactive environments. GPS Mission, which I use in my latest project, is an app you can use for mobile storytelling.

If you are interested in the topic offers a comprehensive resource for all things (apps, companies…) connected to it.

Mr. X Mobile

Have you played the classic boardgame Scotland Yard/Mr. X.

A mobile game version is in development by the University of Bonn.
For more info (mostly in German) check out:
The game sounds promising, hope I can test it soon.
Update: I had the possibility in several settings with teenagers and it worked very well. For me the best „spontaneous“ game yet. And it works with Android and on the iPhone.

Creating geotainment with teenagers

At the moment I am working on a pretty exciting project which I got funded by the City of Munich. Based on free I am enabling educationally disadvantaged teenagers to create, review and play geotainment.

During the two day course two groups of teenagers first scout the area to come up with riddles based on their surroundings. With these each group creates a „GPS Mission“which the other group tests and reviews.

We also discuss basics of game design and storytelling. Goal is not to have bare riddles but to decide on a story which link the places and objectives together. Nice examples groups came up with till now are a suspense secret agent story and a voyage to Harry Potters Hogwarts (with a Bus Stop standing for Platform Nine and Three Quarters).
The kids love that they can use an iPhone to play the mission and are very motivated. The geotainment aspects makes it easier for the kids to be creative as we are working not only in virtual but also real space and they can basically „touch“ the riddles. One challenging aspect of the concept is that I only have a limited amount of iPhones and therefore don’t have a smart phone per kid. In a week I will try the project with 5 kids per iPhone which I think is the upper limit.
I would like to thank some people who helped to get the project to where it is now:
  • Mobile learning expert Chris Nash with whom I had an inspiring discussion in London
  • Marike Schlattmann from Lern-welten is working with me on the project.
  • and last but not least the City of Munich and Netzwerk Inter@ktiv which are open for innovative media education projects.


You can find a summary of the projekt results here:

Pädi 2009 winners announced

The winners of the 2009 „Pädi“ – the pedagogic interactive awardwere announced. The Website won the award in gold in the kids category, „Line RiderFreestylefor teenagers.
Other winners includeRhythm Paradise„, „Maus DS – Der mausgeflippte Denkspaßand „Professor Layton and the Curious Village„.

I was happy to be part of thePädi Expert Team“ which took part in the decision making process of the award. There will be an award ceremony on November 12th 14-16 in the Munich Gasteig/Carl-Orff-Saal with approx. 600 guests.

More info on the award (in German)

Der pädagogische Interaktiv-Preis – bundesweit einzigartig in seiner Konzeption – basiert im Unterschied zu vielen anderen Preisen, die entweder auf die künstlerische Komponente, die technischen Details oder die curricularen Lerninhalte Bezug nehmen, zu einem wesentlichen Teil auf praktischen Erfahrungen im Einsatz der multimedialen Produkte.

Mit dem Pädi werden Lern– und Spielprogramme pädagogisch bewertet, die Kinder und Jugendliche in ihrer Freizeit nutzen.

Der Pädi ist einerseits eine Orientierungshilfe im schier undurchdringlichen Dschungel der online- und offline-Angebote für die Heranwachsenden und andererseits eine Auszeichnung für die Hersteller von pädagogisch wertvollen Multimedia-Produkten. Er ist ein Ansporn für ihre Bemühungen, sinnvolle Produkte für Kinder und Jugendliche anzubieten und damit einen Beitrag zur Förderung der Medienkompetenz zu leisten.

You can find more infos on the Pädi and a full list of the winners of this 12th here:


I occasionally play games with the two nieces of my girlfriend. This got me thinking about how they are affected by playing them. In the case of the two little girls these were Wii Fitt, some horse game and Nintendogs.
I studied Sociology which helps me to self reflect on my gaming habits. But it is interesting how little we (who we design games) actually think what effect these games have on others. My diploma thesis showed that people have very different reasons why they play games and choose the games to play also depending on these reasons.
When I was a kid, I did not play games to learn. I also never played any specific learning game. But I think I still learned a lot from these games. In this post I don’t want to get into the question how the violence in these games might have affected me focus on two positive effects they might have had.
One of them was that I learned quite some English playing RPGs and Adventures. Playing them might also have been a great incentive for me to pay more attention to my English teacher.
Another type of game which aided my (basic) understanding about how the economy or society works were simulations like Railroad Tycoon or Civilization.

Today (as homework) I gave myself two topics I want to learn about in the future:

  • The two little girls are probably not old enough for all of the above games, but I will check out some games which they might like to play while additionally having a rather positive effect on them.
  • I want to learn more about how learning actually works.

In school the Math teacher told us that we would need this boring formulas our whole live and therefor should listen to him. He was right. While probably not everybody needs the formulas we all need the logical thinking we also learned on the way. Question is: Does a game like Crazy Machines help your logical ability in the same way as School Mathematic does. Neuropsychology should have something to say about it. What I know is that getting someone to play Crazy Machines is way easier than motivating him to attend a math class.

The million dollar question on learning programs and games is how much „learning“ these should be to actually being played.

Fishing in Lake Sagar

As I wrote in another post we sold and all our sources to 7Seas Technologies.

In January 2008 the Neodelight staff was in Hyderabad/India to train the 7Seas team on our sources. We wanted them to learn on the job and therefore created a nice little game with them which even has some serious thoughts to it:

When we were sight seeing in Hyderabad, we visited Lake Sagar, a picturesque but heavily polluted lake (to keep us from doing foolish things a man told us „When you swim here – you die!„).
Around the lake we saw many „not littering“ signs which hopefully will have an effect soon.

We crossed the need to train the team with the problem of the polluted lake and got as a result the game „Clean Sagar“ in which you have to fish out garbage from the lake so it can recover.
Three days after the idea the completed game was released on the official press conference and the game became a big hit in the press as well as with Indian gamers.

The other game which was released on the press conference was Mouse Maze. This very nice mouse avoider which we created in 2007 even won the FICCI FRAMES Best of Animation Frames Award for the online gaming category. By the way, Halo 3 won best console game and Gears of War best PC game awards.

So everybody was very happy with the press conference. Especially the fish in Lake Sagar.