Location-based games not only offer new experiences for the players, but also present new challenges for researchers in terms of analyzing player behaviour. Whilst many ethnographical studies have presented useful qualitative insights into this area, there is the potential to both improve support for these studies and to provide more effective representations of the quantitative data that can often be extracted from the game itself in a manner that enables greater understanding. In this paper, we illustrate how combined spatial and temporal information can be represented using the human geographers' technique of space-time paths to provide 3D visualizations of a player's or players' movement. Our analysis of a particular location-based game shows how a richer understanding of overall game play is obtained and highlights the possibilities for using the technique for a whole range of location-based services to provide a more complete view of complexities of journeys. Further, we discuss how these techniques can be utilized more generally by ethnographers who study the behaviour of mobile actors.
Copyright © 2008 Paul Coulton et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.