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Mobile applications

Get ready for Karen #KarenIsMyLifeCoach

Yesterday I finished playtesting Blast Theory’s soon to be released app, Karen. I don’t want to say too much about it, because I don’t want to spoil any surprises for you, and it’ll shortly (hopefully next week, pending approval, and assuming is ran as well for other playtesters as it did on my device) be free to download for iOS from the App Store. So you’ll be able to try it for youself, Android users will also get their turn, but not quite as soon. Continue reading →

Put your phones away

This video came out a couple of years ago. It’s wordless, but it says a lot. Of course, its nothing we haven’t heard before: people spend a lot of time in social situations looking at their smartphones. But they don’t really want to. Lets cut to the chase. There are a LOT of companies out there selling (or trying to sell) smartphone based apps for visitors on site. But none of them are worth it. Continue reading →

Playable Cities videos

I wasn’t able to get to the Playable Cities conference (for the second year running – next year, I must try harder), but handily they put a number of the sessions online at They are quite quiet for my deaf old ears, I needed to turn them up to full both in the player and on my computer to get them above a whisper. Continue reading →

Bluetooth LE again

An opportunity may be coming up that has been thinking again about heritage spaces and narrative. This year’s Museums and Heritage Show was full of companies offering Bluetooth LE (BLE, or if you prefer, Apple’s trademarked version, iBeacons) interpretation. Most worked along the lines of “approach object/artwork with your device (phone or tablet), and a BLE beacon will tell your device where it is, whereupon it will serve up interesting tidbits of information. Continue reading →


I went to see the Vikings exhibition at the British Museum last weekend. Having very much enjoyed Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum last year, I had high hopes for this visit. I was disappointed. First of all, I don’t like the space. The Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery is at the back of the Great Court, and feels like a long narrow shape, that isn’t helped by the partitioning in the introductory section. Continue reading →

The Invisible Hand – Blast Theory

I’ve had a great first day attending The Invisible Hand a two day workshop hosted by Blast Theory, the Brighton based art collective. I met all sorts of interesting people, and I’ll write in more detail about it later. But right now I want to process my excitement about a short presentation from Lesley Fosh. A PhD student at Nottingham University, Lesley shared an experiment wherein she worked with eight pairs of visitors to a local art gallery. Continue reading →

Location gaming

We had a great meeting yesterday for our funding application, though everyone has so many great ideas that the biggest challenge is going to be scoping those ideas into something achievable. Barring a couple of extra questions, everybody seems reasonably happy with the survey I drafted, so all we’re waiting for now is the green light from ERGO, the university’s ethics monitoring system. Continue reading →

Questions, questions

My head is full of questions today. On the one hand, I need to get some front end evaluation data on young people and mobile gaming together, in just a month, so I’m composing an online survey about that. On the other hand it is the deadline for Bodiam Castle to submit bespoke questions for the National Trust’s visitor survey, so I need to get my head around what questions to try and persuade them to add. Continue reading →