In Play Along With the Real World…, I describe the hypothetical notion of playing games in the context of real world data being fed from live sporting events.
But live data games have actually been around for some time…
One such example is Sharkrunners, from the Discovery Channel.
Sharkrunners first appeared at the start of last summer (Live Data Gaming – Sharkrunners), as a television series tie-in, and then returned for a second season based around the Great Barrier Reef.
The aim of the game is to equip a research boat and go in search of real sharks, either as a research scientist, as a documentary maker, or with an ecological mission in mind. Finding a shark brings rewards for the captain of the boat in terms of finance which can be used to hire extra crew, purchase additional scientific instruments, and improve the boat. The shark location data is based on telemetry from real sharks, although ‘live’ weather conditions don’t feature as part of the game (yet?!).
The game is played in real time, so the player must set waypoints for the ship to travel between that will hopefully lead to a shark encounter. When a shark is detected within range of the boat, an email or SMS message is sent to the player so they can log in to the game and take an appropriate action.
I played Sharkrunners over a two week period last summer, and have just signed up for another tour of duty now ;-)