How Location-Based Games Incentivize Moving About: A Study in the Context of Nature-Going

Samuli Laato, Daniel Fernández Galeote, Ferran Altarriba Bertran, Konstantinos Papangelis, Juho Hamari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Location-based multiplayer games such as Pokémon GO are tied to real-world locations. Past research has demonstrated that, consequently, these games influence where players move. In order to explore what dynamics in these games incentivize travel to specific places or areas, we engaged in interviews with active players. We discovered 11 unique game dynamics, which could be positioned under three overarching themes: (1) the playing field, as determined by the placement of points of interest, the players' habitat and their surroundings; (2) the player communities and real life relationships, which motivated and directed the playing; and (3) coincidental motivational support, which highlighted how location-based games offer multi-layered motivation for players to travel to, and engage with, specific real-world locations. Our study contributes to the fields of gamified human mobility and human-nature interaction by elucidating how playful technologies can influence where and when people move.

Original languageEnglish
Article number398
Pages (from-to)642–664
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Issue numberCHI PLAY
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sept 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • augmented reality
  • exergames
  • Gamification
  • health technologies
  • location-based games
  • mobility
  • movement
  • nature
  • Pokémon GO

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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