Blowtooth – The game of international smuggling


“A Really Bad Idea” – Danah Boyd, Microsoft

Blowtooth is a unique game where players must smuggle virtual drugs through REAL airport security. Of course, no actual crimes are committed – the game uses bluetooth to store a list of nearby passengers during the airport check-in process. Later, players are challenged to find those same people in the departure lounges.


The game is available for free for Android devices, on the Google Play store. It only works when you are in a real airport.

There is more information on the project website –

Blowtooth was developed to explore the limits of pervasive gaming in public spaces where the constant surveillance of law-abiding and innocuous behaviour has become the everyday norm.

It challenges passengers to reconsider their position and their relationship with the faceless airport security infrastructure. If you will be treated like a smuggler in the game of security, why not engage with that in your own, playful, way?


Kirman, Ben and Linehan, Conor and Lawson, Shaun (2012) Blowtooth: a provocative pervasive game for smuggling virtual drugs through real airport security. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 16 (6). pp. 767-775. ISSN 1617-4909

Linehan, Conor and Kirman, Ben and Lawson, Shaun and Doughty, Mark (2010) Blowtooth: pervasive gaming in unique and challenging environments. Proceedings of the 28th of the international conference extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems . pp. 2695-2704