We Are Nearer

We Are Nearer is a Location Based Mobile Game and an iteration of the game We Are Near. Two competing teams aim to get as close as possible to a digitally simulated object that moves through the city’s streets. The object randomly follows the city’s street patterns and is visualised as a big green dot on each player’s phone. The added distance of each team towards the object is updated and visualised in real-time. Summing up each player’s distance towards the object, a team wins if it gets as close as 50 meters to this object.

How it works
The prerequisites are that all players are outside and carry a mobile phone with 3G and camera incorporated. Three apps are used: A compass, an internet browser (Safari for iPhone and Firefox for Android) and WhatsApp. The players mobile phones have to be set as follows:

▪ Location Services turned on for the browser. Settings > privacy > location services >  on for browser.

▪ Screen auto-lock off. Settings >  general >  auto-lock > never

▪ Go to the website performativemapping.net > Select You Are Near #5 > Select Login in upper right corner. If not registered, select register first. You can use an alias and fake email.

When all players have set up their phones, the game administrator creates a new game with a timer for when he/she want the game to start. After doing this the player goes to the browser and selects “play the game”. The screen remains grey until the game starts. Now players switch to the compass app and start walking in different directions. After a couple of minutes of walking the players switch back to the browser. As players continue to walk in the same direction they wait for the game to start. It can take a few minutes, but if you think it takes much longer then it should you can refresh the page.

Red and blue dots are visualised on the player’s mobile phones (each dot representing a different player) and a big green dot (the digitally simulated object). This object moves through the city in walking pace. The aim for each team is to have its players get as close as 50 meters (summing up their distance) to the digital object. When players manage to do this, a message appears on all phones stating which team has won.

Players have to find out which dot is theirs and they have to figure out where the object is located. As the players move they leave a GPS trace in the grey field. Team members can communicate via WhatsApp but both competing teams use the same chat. If someone is able to disclose the location of the opponent, the person is disqualified. Players furthermore have to be on the lookout for members of the competing team as a player can shoot another player with his/her camera and share it in the WhatsApp. After a player is shot (s)he cannot participate anymore in the game and therefore cannot take a picture back of the opponent. The game administrator removes the shot player from the game so that the added distance always stays accurate. A team can loose up to two players. Especially towards the end, when all players get closer to the digital object and to each other, it becomes increasingly difficult to stay hidden. The streets where the players have walked become excluded for the digitally simulated object. In this way, the city’s game-board also becomes smaller while the game evolves.


First launch in May 2015
Software developer of We Are Nearer: Iván Fuciños Calle