Adaptive Mobile Gaming

The chase is on!

Scotland Yard - to go!

Many generations have been entertained by Ravensburger's "Scotland Yard" board game. As part of a programming lab students from the University of Bonn in cooperation with the game publisher Ravensburger Spiele and T-Mobile invented "Scotland Yard – to go!", the modern version where no longer figures are moved on the table but people interact in the real world chasing Mr. X.

The players are equipped with portable computer, a mobile phone and a GPS receiver. The GPS device provides the current location; the mobile is used for a connection to the internet. This enables to locate the accurate position of the detectives and also Mr. X in bigger intervals and on a map. The world is turned into one big game area.

The computer is not only a medium; it creates a whole new game experience since the game situation is adapted dynamically. For example when the player climbs on a bell tower not only his real sight is enlarged but also the virtual one in the game: The map will reveal more information about Mr. X position as before. This effect – "Adaptive Mobile Gaming" – is the outcome of several years of collaborative "Context Sensitive Intelligence" research between scientists from the University of Bonn and Telekom Laboratories in Berlin. The mobile game "Scotland Yard – to go!" which is developed by the students is now a demonstration of the possibilities this technology provides.

Research Context

Adptive Mobile Gaming research is a part of the Context Sensitive Intelligence Project (CSI). Its goal is to explore the theoretical and practical challenges of context-aware computing and to develop a general framework for context-driven applications. The project is directed by Prof. Dr. Armin B. Cremers and Holger Mügge, it receives financial and conceptional support from Deutsche Telekom Laboratories.


  • Holger Mügge, Daniel Speicher, Olaf Cremers, Armin B. Cremers: Learning in Community Through Mobile Storytelling and Location-Based Games, The 8th International Conference of the ESREA Network - Perspectives on community practices - Living and learning in community, Ljubljana 2015 [pdf]
  • M. Schmatz, K. Henke, C. Tuerck, C. Mohr, T. Sackmann: SYGo - a location-based game adapted from the board game Scotland Yard. Workshop Mobiles Spielen,Informatik 2009 [pdf]
  • H. Mügge, P. Bihler, M. Schmatz, A.B. Cremers: Context and Situation as Enablers for Multi-Modal Interaction in Mobile Games. HCI 2008 Workshop: Evaluating Player Experiences in Location Aware Games, Liverpool, 2008 [pdf]
  • P. Bihler, H. Mügge: Scotland Yard fürs Handy - Rallyes mit neuen Medien und als Mixed Reality Spiele. In Gruppe & Spiel, Juni/Juli 2008

Further Information

You are welcome to ask for details. Several topics for diploma theses are available. Please contact Holger Mügge, Pascal Bihler, or Mark von Zeschau.

awarded at ACE 2009