Self-Reported Positioning

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Games where variations in players' physical locations are part of the gameplay but where the current locations are reported to the game by the players.

Some games use the location of players as input of the game state but need this information to be reported to where the game state is stored. Games have Self-Reported Positioning when this is done by the explicit actions of players

Note: this pattern complies with the original definition of the concept of Self-Reported Positioning in that players choose what location to report and can thereby report locations far from where they actually are.


Uncle Roy All Around You is the game that originated the concept of Self-Reported Positioning[1].


Location-based social network such as Foursquare[2] and Gowalla[3] let players check-in whenever they wish but the systems provide the actual information, so players cannot report other locations that ones where they actually are.

Using the pattern

Self-Reported Positioning requires that a game makes use of Player-Location Proximity, but it is the easiest way to support this pattern since one only needs to make use of a communication system, not a sensing technology and a communication system.

Interface Aspects

Self-Reported Positioning is an Interface pattern since it makes players use an interface to tell the game system their positions.


Self-Reported Positioning provides a narrow form of Self-Facilitated Games. It however does so within a context where players report to some game system so it can also be seen as a way of modulating Mediated Gameplay. Since it loosens the requirements of where players actually are, it makes games with Player-Location Proximity have Casual Gameplay. This also helps provide Social Adaptability since players do not need to go places if they do not have the time or want, or do not want to disturb those in the locations.


Can Instantiate

Self-Facilitated Games, Social Adaptability

with Player-Location Proximity

Casual Gameplay

Can Modulate

Mediated Gameplay, Player-Location Proximity

Can Be Instantiated By


Can Be Modulated By


Possible Closure Effects


Potentially Conflicting With



A pattern based upon the concept "Self-Reported Positioning", originally coined by the artist group Blast Theory and reseachers at the Mixed Reality Laboratory. See Benford et al. 2004[1] for more details.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Benford, S., Seager, W., Flintham, M., Anastasi, R., Rowland, D., Humble, J., Stanton, D., Bowers, J., Tandavanitj, N., Adams, M., Row Farr, J., Amanda Oldroyd, A., & Sutton, J. The Error of Our Ways: The Experience of Self-Reported Position in a Location-Based Game. In Proceedings of Ubicomp 2004.
  2. Wikipedia entry for Foursquare.
  3. Wikipedia entry for Gowalla.