Old World Meet New World: Exploring History with New Media Tools

    by Paul Lamb
    November 18, 2007

    Here’s an interesting post about a mobile game called Amsterdam 1550 that was designed to teach local students about the old city of Amersterdam.

    “The game uses 3G cell phones and network to allow students to compete in finding answers to questions about the old city of Amsterdam, for history class excursion and assignment. Frequency 1550 explores the social potential of location-aware devices, inspired by the use of tracking technology and wireless media, human relationships, movement and identity; the project seeks to extend and re-appropriate the functions of locative technologies by exploring ways in which they can be socially constructive and facilitate new dynamics to occur within everyday school life. Children are taught to look beyond city facades, interact socially and technically, and move through the city in new ways.

    Frequency 1550 is an annotation of the current transition of social and traveling space, moreover, it is concerned with the medium and plays with its possibilities, ultimately shaping and advancing it. Frequency 1550 is, like Internet art, formed by commercial interests. Corporate minded sponsors, such as phone providers and cell phone producers, are constantly seeking how to control the market. Projects such Frequency 1550 are an ideal way of testing commercial applications and practices. Furthermore, introducing cell phones in the domain of education, as Frequency 1550 intends, offers a new market, one which is able to acquire governmental sponsoring as well as annex potential customers at an early age. Likewise, the city is used as testing ground for creative, commercial and governmental institutions to assess flaws and threats.”


    The post also addresses some of the key challenges still faced by many locative and mobile media projects – both technology and cultural limitations when working with cell phones. Well worth a read for all those developing mobile media and games for the commercial and non commercial sectors.

    Tagged: cell phones learning locative media mobile games

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