Archive for March, 2010

Touchy – iPhone iPod Touch App Launches – the First Mobile Mediated Action Game!

March 29, 2010

Touchy is a unique iPhone / iPod Touch game where you wrestle with other people to touch their screen as they try to touch yours.

You and your friends, foes, yoga mates, family, competitors, party goers, etc. press the TOGETHER button at the same time and then try and touch each other’s targets.  The Touch application records how long each target is touched and awards points at the end.  Past scores and win-loss-ties are saved and totaled and an average is calculated.

WARNING – playing Touchy can easily result in minor injuries so play carefully – Dan Zen is not responsible for any damage to yourselves or your devices.

Here are some examples of play:

More can be found on the Touchy.mobi site.

The first mobile app I created was “phone says” in 2001 where you have to do what the phone says no matter where you are…

This was an early example of a mobile mediated game. Touchy is another where the game is outside the mobile device but the device acts to enforce rules or some aspect of play.

Mediated means to sit in the middle. Like a medium. Mediated reality is made up of augmented reality and diminished reality. Augmented is when we add to reality like adding descriptions to shapes we recognize. Diminished is when we take away from reality such as removing advertisements.

I have been involved in hundreds of mobile prototypes all with the focus of multimedia pioneering to take the extra aspect of location in to account. I cannot recall coming across an application like Touchy. So simple a concept and execution – but very inventive none the less.

The implementation of the “Together” button avoids complex multiuser functionality. It allows for synchronous play much like the starting gun in a race. Yet as far as I can tell, this functionality has not been implemented in a mobile game. If you find an example, please let us know.

Now why not try Touchy – you will need to get some friends involved too!

Inventor, Dan Zen

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