Indexicality of language and the art of creating treasures

Matti J. Rantanen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The indexicality of language refers to the linkage between the language and the situation of use for determining the meaning of what is being said. In this paper I describe how a player of a location-based treasure hunt game called geocaching uses indexicality of language in creating clues when hiding treasures. Based on this account, the skill, I argue, in creating an exciting treasure depends on understanding the disjunction between the context in which the clue is first interpreted and the context in which it receives its final meaning. An interesting clue should therefore contain both a literal or conventional meaning and a situated meaning, and the situated meaning should only arise when the player is close enough to the treasure.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2010 - The 28th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Conference Proceedings
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2010
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventACM SIGCHI Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Atlanta, United States
Duration: 10 Apr 201015 Apr 2010
Conference number: 28


ConferenceACM SIGCHI Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Abbreviated titleACM CHI
CountryUnited States


  • context
  • field study
  • geocache
  • gps (global positioning system)
  • indexicality
  • language
  • location-based computing

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