Pervasive games can be divided into several more or less well-established subgenres. In IPerG,
we have been inspired by and investigated the following genres of pervasive games.
- Treasure Hunts are games where the players are trying to find
certain objects in unlimited gamespace. The target of the hunt may be a planted prize,
finding a certain location, or take a photograph of the hunter performing a task, etc.
Often the prize or target is not valuable; the discovery is a reward in itself.
The IPerG games Hitchers,Insectopia, and Geoquiz are examples of treasure hunt games. Hot Potato is an example of a treasure hunt game where
the hidden content is associated to people rather than to places. The Augmented Diamond hunt and Wizard's Apprentice games were early non-pervasive board game
experiments with this genre. They were developed within IPerG to explore social expansion.
- Alternate reality games are currently one of the best known genres of pervasive
games. The ARG interest group of the International Game Developersí Association describes
them as games that take the substance of everyday life and weave it into narratives that
layer additional meaning, depth, and interaction upon the real world. The IPerG games
Prosopopeia Bardo 1 and Prosopopeia Bardo 2 are pervasive larps that also can
be seen as alternate reality games.
- Pervasive larps are pervasive games where the participants physically act out
as a character in an environment that has at least partially been propped to look
like the story setting. The IPerG games Prosopopeia Bardo 1 and Prosopopeia Bardo 2 are archetypical
examples of this genre. Kejsartemplet
is an example of a traditional live roleplaying game which was enhanced
by pervasive technology.
- Urban adventure games combine stories and puzzles with urban spaces.
These games take the player to areas with some historical or cultural significance
to solve puzzles, follow stories and learn also learn tidbits about the history of
the place. Solving a puzzle typically provides further instructions on how to find
other locations. Urban adventure games work well as tourist applications. The IPerG
game Interference is an urban adventure game that has
been designed to be restaged in different locations and the Rider Spoke game encourage the participants to
tell their own stories.
- Smart street sports are games usually played in outside in urban areas
or on university campuses where competing requires both physical exercise and cold
tactical thinking. In some games all players move in the physical space, supported
by GPS devices, cellular phones and other handheld computers, while others combine
physical gameplay with virtual one. The Node Game is an example of a very simple area capture
game that can be played both indoors and outdoors. The Epidemic Menace is a more advanced game that includes elements of urban adventuring and role-play through its use of a strong story line and
- Massively Multiplayer Mobile Games. These games are mobile phone games that
rely on large number of players playing the game for long periods of time. The games
Day of the Figurine, Coup and Mythical: The Mobile Awakening are examples of such games.
- Boxed Pervasive Games are games that are shipped together with tools to
stage and modify the games, or to create new games. The Magic Lens box and the Location box were developed as
examples of such boxes.