Name and history
Gangs of Bremen is an interdisciplinary research group that focuses on mobile gaming experiences and their conceptual, aesthetical and technological foundations by exploring, developing, and play testing mobile games. Lead by Barbara Grüter the group currently has a team of five members.
Mobile games are based on the bodily movement of the players in their natural environment, which is enriched by virtual dimensions.
For Gangs of Bremen research, design and development of mobile games is a play-based process and research combines applied research on game design, development and evaluation with basic research on games and HCI moving beyond the desk.
We started our game design with the idea of situating a virtual world within the context of our city -where the name of our project comes from- and within the life context of urban male and female youth. Bremen is a Hanseatic City and "Hanse", or "Hansa" is a term used in early medieval times for gang.
We phrased the main theme of our first playable prototype, gangs conquering territory and getting influence on the streets by that, with regard to issues everybody knows at least from the time growing up.
The group started in spring 2003 as a study project and transformed into a research project in 2004. Meanwhile the project developed to an enduring research group with different research studies.