Waag Society developed a 'mobile learning game' pilot together with IVKO, part of the Montessori comprehensive school in Amsterdam. It's a citygame using mobile phones and GPS-technology for students in the age of 12-14 (so called HAVO+MAVO basic curriculum). It is a research pilot examining whether it's possible to provide a technology supported educational location-based experience. In the Frequency 1550 mobile game, students are transported to the medieval Amsterdam of 1550 via a medium that's familiar to this agegroup: the mobile phone. The pilot took place in 2005 from 7 to 9 February and was supported by KPN Mobile's UMTS network. At its UMTS launching event KPN put out this press release, but it's in Dutch only.
Our educational staff worked with the school to make sure the mobile game experience fits with the traditional curriculum. Apart from adding to historical awareness and knowledge we hoped the pilot would enhance communication & collaboration skills (game tactics) and educational abilities (interpreting historical sources and references). Throught this pilot, we're researching whether actively experiencing history through the immersing qualities of a (location-based) game and the creation of your own media (pictures, sound, video) adds to the understanding and appreciation of the city and its history.
Several gaming and locative media blogs picked up on the project, and Dutch magazine Computable wrote a comprehensive article focusing mainly on the back-end development.
In the months following the pilot, we attended several conferences (the Innovative Game Design for example) and seminars presenting the project.
When the pilot was completed, the project made it to the Dutch TV News on the public broadcasting channel.
Watch it here ! to see video footage of the game being played (in Dutch, requires Flash-plugin)