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Your Ad Here, Here, or Here
By Alam Srinivas

(Business 2.0) – Last spring in Australia, Blast Theory premiered a new reality-based game called I Like Frank. Linking online participants with dozens of competitors who roamed the streets of Adelaide sporting multimedia-ready mobile phones, the game required players to work together to track down a shadowy character named Frank. The "mixed-reality" experiment highlighted the community-building and marketing opportunities lurking in the nascent world of location-based games.

Blast Theory is an artists' collective in London that uses mobile technology to create games that transform the real world into a virtual game environment--think Myst meets hide-and-seek, with smartphones. Siemens, Smirnoff, and the BBC have already worked with Blast Theory to devise interactive promotional campaigns.

This blossoming commercial interest in Blast Theory's mixed-reality experiences has led the group to launch Everpresence, a spinoff that will work with clients to develop interactive campaigns targeting consumers, both online and off, in specific cities or neighborhoods. "It's obvious that location-based marketing will happen," says Blast Theory co-founder Matt Adams. And when it does, Adams & Co. may find that their mobile games form the basis for a highly lucrative business. -- ALAM SRINIVAS