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We present Tagger, a game designed to reproduce the social interactions of graffiti lifestyle in a geo-accurate virtual mirror world. Players interact by placing user-generated artwork on photo realistic panoramas of the city of San Francisco. Tagger is unique in the scope and accuracy to which it reproduces an entire city in a virtual environment. We present our design, implementation experience, and results from two user studies. We show that real world graffiti social interactions occurred in our mirror world despite limitations with our first generation game play rules that inadvertently disincentivized this behavior. We also show that setting the game in a mirror of the real world contributes to player's enjoyment and choice of strategies. We expect Tagger will continue to serve as a powerful research platform as we investigate broader questions around how the virtual mirror world, perhaps combined with augmented reality technology, can extend social interactions beyond what is possible in today's physical world of graffiti.
Date of Conference: 3-5 Sept. 2012