I recently watched Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s TEDxTokyo talk from May 21, 2011. His presentation had some great points that apply to not only the world of games, but the world in which we all live. Specifically, in one part of the video Tetsuya Mizuguchi touches on the topic of location based games. This is something Gahlord and I have been thinking and talking about lately.
Mr. Mizuguchi talks about a game in development entitled BANG: 100 Million Mines. BANG is being made by the company Zeptotools in a partnership with Dentsu, a Japanese advertising agency. The premise of BANG is to use your smartphone to travel to different locations and remove the digitally placed mines. After a mine has been removed, players have the chance to donate money to help remove the over 15 million active landmines in Cambodia. BANG helps bring awareness to the Japanese population about the problem in Cambodia, and it helps the relief efforts there to disarm the real mines.
As the smart phone install-base continues to grow, games like BANG will only become more popular, powerful, and useful. Mobile gaming is the only technology that comes close to involving the player in the real world. In Zeptotools’ blog post on BANG, they refer to this process as “gamification.” The technology behind location based games will empower developers with the chance to create a new form of gaming. This form of gaming will have the power to help others, raise awareness, and bring hundreds-of-thousands, if not millions, of people together.
A little bit about who Tetsuya Mizuguchi is: Tetsuya Mizuguchi makes games and music. He’s worked on a lot of successful titles such as the following: Space Channel 5, Rez, Lumines, and Child of Eden (the most recently released, see gameplay in the video embedded below). Mr. Mizuguchi has been making games for over two decades. Formerly a Sega employee, he left in 2003 to found Q Entertainment. He also plays in the wonderful band Genki Rockets.
You can watch Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s TEDxTokyo Speech, entitled Positive Power of Games below: