Presence Based Massively Multiplayer Games Exploration of a new concept
The advances of new technologies and the convergence of different communication media are constantly changing not only our means and modes of communication with other people, but the notion of connectivity itself. Rather that being online or offline, we can be ‘connected’ in many different ways and without directly interacting with technology itself. ‘Presence’ awareness, facilitated by Instant Messaging applications, mobile phones, wireless handheld devices, location tracking and so on, makes someone reachable almost at any time. This research aims to explore the notion of presence on a massive scale in the online and wireless world. In order to set the stage this study draws upon a variety of areas: Instant Messaging, social psychology, massively multiplayer games, game design, wireless communication and location based games. We propose further experimentation with the design of multiplayer games for large numbers of participants; starting from a few tens in order to expand to hundreds or even thousands of people. This report puts the research aims in perspective and illustrates how experimentation with a massively multiplayer game will provide the necessary design insight for presence-based play.