Casual mobile gameplay – On integrated practices of research, design and play

Hajinejad Nassrin Sheptykin Iaroslav Grüter Barbara Worpenberg Annika Lochwitz Andreas Oswald David Vatterrott Heide-Rose
2011 DiGRA '11 - Proceedings of the 2011 DiGRA International Conference: Think Design Play

The Mobile Game Lab is a community of players, designers and researchers of Mobile Games currently initiated from the research project Landmarks of Mobile Entertainment. As researchers we find ourselves in a quite complex, frightening and yet pleasurable situation. Our research goal is to develop a dynamic system of landmarks for pedestrian navigation by means of mobile game play. To achieve our goal, we have to play and involve other players, we have to understand the various facets of game design and research, we have to deal with different partners, and integrate their diverse practices. How to focus on such a project in a manner that the different forces involved move in synchrony with mobile game play at the core? Within our paper we introduce the casual mobile game cubodo as a first empirical instance of the lab for developing our approach and spelling out what we call the mobile game play cycle. More than other games, Casual Mobile Games defy traditional definitions of gameplay and related concepts of game design and research. Casual mobile games are deeply intertwined with everyday activities. To understand, deploy and deepen this connection the integration of play, design and research is required. Accordingly we found that cubodo was well suited to form the idea of the lab.


Situated Play and Mobile Gaming

Grüter Barbara Oks Miriam
2007 DiGRA '07 - Proceedings of the 2007 DiGRA International Conference: Situated Play

There is no other play than situated play. A game becomes situated via play activities. Without playing we have the mechanics of a game, the elements and the relations, the roles and the rules. Situated play emerges within playing when the skeleton becomes alive, the role becomes a person, and the abstract game system becomes a concrete unrepeatable gaming experience. For mobile games having permeable borders questioned permanently by everyday life circumstances the creation and recreation of the magic circle is decisive. At the core of the situated mobile play we found the relation of the player to herself, to the objective conditions, and to others.