EPJ Data Science Journal (EPDS)
Volume 10, Issue 10, 2021

Impact Factor: 4.253

The Mobility Laws of Location-Based Games


Mobility is a fundamental characteristic of human society that shapes various
aspects of our everyday interactions. This pervasiveness of mobility makes it
paramount to understand factors that govern human movement and how it varies
across individuals. Currently, factors governing variations in personal mobility are
understudied with existing research focusing on explaining the aggregate
behaviour of individuals. Indeed, empirical studies have shown that the aggregate
behaviour of individuals follows a truncated Levy-flight model, but little
understanding exists of the laws that govern intra-individual variations in mobility
resulting from transportation choices, social interactions, and exogenous factors
such as location-based mobile applications. Understanding these variations is
essential for improving our collective understanding of human mobility, and the
factors governing it. In this article, we study the mobility laws of location-based
gaming - an emerging and increasingly popular exogenous factor influencing
personal mobility. We analyse the mobility changes considering the popular
PokemonGO application as a representative example of location-based games and
study two datasets with different reporting granularity, one captured through
location-based social media, and the other through smartphone application
logging. Our analysis shows that location-based games, such as PokemonGO,
increase mobility - in line with previous findings - but the characteristics
governing mobility remain consistent with a truncated Levy-flight model and that
the increase can be explained by a larger number of short-hops, i.e., individuals
explore their local neighborhoods more thoroughly instead of actively visiting new
areas. Our results thus suggest that intra-individual variations resulting from
location-based gaming can be captured by re-parameterization of existing
mobility models.

Early Access with Appendix 

Open Access 

author={L. {Tonetto} and E. {Lagerspetz} and A. Y. {Ding} and J. {Ott} and S {Tarkoma} and P. {Nurmi}},
journal={EPJ Data Science},
title={The Mobility Laws of Location-Based Games},
How to cite:

Leonardo Tonetto, Eemil Lagerspetz, Aaron Yi Ding, Joerg Ott, Sasu Tarkoma, Petteri Nurmi, "The Mobility Laws of Location-Based Games", EPJ Data Science, Vol. 10, No. 10, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1140/epjds/s13688-021-00266-x