Hybrid Reality Games: Reconfiguring social and urban networks via locative media
Adriana de Souza e Silva, Ph.D. (Communication, North Carolina State University) souzaesilva at ncsu dot edu
Daniel Sutko (Communication, North Carolina State University) dmsutko at ncsu dot edu
Games are pervasive activities in human culture. The strong success of video and computer games during the last 20 years can make us forget that the physical environment has always been the primary playful space. But if computers helped take games to digital spaces, the popularity of mobile technologies takes them back to the physical. The pervasiveness of mobile phones, which allow us to walk around urban spaces connected to the Internet and each other, encourages the creation of a new type of game arena that takes place simultaneously in physical and digital spaces. In these games, communication, collaboration, and interaction occur in a combination of the physical and the digital—in hybrid spaces. In such games the players’ mobility and position in space indeed matter. Hybrid Reality and Location-based games transform the players’ perception of urban spaces, as well as the intrinsic definition of game space.
This edited book invites essays that critically investigate the inter-relations among mobile technologies, location-based activities, and playful / social spaces, with the ultimate goal of finding interconnections between games and social networks. Submitted essays should focus on three main areas:
(1) The history of games as social environments, with particular emphasis on MUDs and RPGs, as predecessors of hybrid reality/location-based gaming. Essays in this part of the book are encouraged to explore how game communities are formed, how players in these types of games contribute to the creation of the game space, game content, and the social relationships inside and outside the game. (2) Theoretical papers about location aware games, differentiating these types of activities from previous game theories on video games. Besides theoretical papers, we also welcome case studies on current location-based, hybrid reality games, urban games, and pervasive games. In summary, we look for defining an overarching concept for the different types of multiuser games that employ mobile technologies as interfaces. (3) Essays that investigate games beyond the pure entertainment approach, including articles that explore uses of hybrid reality, location aware and pervasive activities in educational contexts, media arts, training, corporate environments, and other similar activities. Essays might draw connections among gaming, education, art, and other location-based activities.
These are suggested research themes, but similar topics will also be considered.
The book will be directed at academic readers, but should be attractive to the gaming community and industry insiders, as well. Abstracts of 500/700 words describing the proposed papers are due by December 15th, 2007 with those accepted due in final form by June 15th, 2008. Submissions may be in the form of empirical research studies or theory-building papers and should be 5000/7000 words (in English). Abstracts must include a brief biography of the author(s). Proposals and inquiries should be sent electronically to souzaesilva at ncsu dot edu.
Paper abstracts: December 15th 2007(500/700 words) Notification of accepted abstracts: January 15th 2008 Full papers: June 15th 2008 (5000/7000 words)
Adriana de Souza e Silva is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Communication at North Carolina State University (NCSU), and the director of the Mobile Gaming Research Lab (http://mglab.chass.ncsu.edu). She is also a faculty member of the Science, Technology and Society Program at NCSU. In 2004/2005, Dr. de Souza e Silva was a Senior Researcher at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies (GSE&IS) at CRESST (Center for the Study of Evaluation). She holds a Ph.D. on Communication and Culture at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. From 2001 to 2004 Dr. de Souza e Silva was a visiting scholar at the UCLA Department of Design | Media Arts. Her research focuses on how new media (mobile) interfaces reconfigure our relationship to space and create new social environments via media art and hybrid reality games games. She holds a Masters degree in Communication and Image Technology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Daniel Sutko is a second-year Master’s student in the Department of Communication at North Carolina State University. He teaches public speaking and is the research assistant for the Mobile Gaming Research Lab at NCSU. His research centers on the relationship between media and social/spatial practices, with a particular focus on new media literacy.