G-Link

G-Link was developed in 2005 and is a wearable game peripheral device (hip pouch and badge) that allows computer games to emerge into the real world through everyday activities.

It gathers biometric data from the wearer & environmental data from the spaces in which they live – the prototype currently measures the number of steps that the user takes, how much they speak and the size, temperature & brightness of space that they live in.

This data is then used to affect the player’s in-game character or experience. For example, in an RPG, player strength can be boosted by the number of steps that they have taken in a day, or their alignment (light, dark, fire, ice) can be influenced by the environmental conditions that they have exposed themselves to.

Alternatively, items from a game can be “downloaded” onto the device, and exposed to real world environmental conditions in order to change the item before uploading it back into the game world. For example, an in-game plant seed could be downloaded onto G-Link and exposed to real world sunlight & water vapour to make it sprout, or a player’s in-game pet could be donwloaded onto the device and taken for a real-world walk to give it exercise.

The prototype uses a Parallax BS2 with various sensor modules to gather data, and connects to PC via serial cable and a Python based interface program. It was tested with a modded version of Morrowind and successfully affected player stats and alignments using gathered data.

The development of G-Link is currently on hold, but will be resumed in the future with updated components.