Middle-aged Players’ Memorable Experiences with Pokémon GO

Koskinen Elina Alha Kati Leorke Dale Paavilainen Janne
2019 DiGRA '19 - Proceedings of the 2019 DiGRA International Conference: Game, Play and the Emerging Ludo-Mix

As the first location-based augmented reality game to gain mainstream popularity, Pokémon GO also reached an older demographic of players that have traditionally played less and whose play experiences are under-researched. In this article, we present the findings of a qualitative survey study (n=349) focusing on the middle-aged (40–65-year-old) Pokémon GO players’ memorable experiences from the time when the game’s popularity was at its peak and its player base likely most diverse. We analyzed the open-ended survey responses with thematic analysis, resulting in 7 categories and 88 thematic codes. The categories constructed were Game Play & Game Content, People & Sociability, Location, Circumstances & Context, Negative Events, Feelings and Other Codes. Through our analysis and findings, we provide insights to understand the play experiences of middle-aged players through Pokémon GO. These findings also capture the memorable moments of a massive, unique social phenomenon at its peak from the perspective of a traditionally overlooked demographic.


The Space Between Debord and Pikachu

Davies Hugh Innocent Troy
2017 DiGRA '17 - Proceedings of the 2017 DiGRA International Conference

In the heady discourse following the launch of Pokémon Go, many of the game’s influences, histories and precursors were forgotten or over-looked. Against the newness in which Pokémon Go is often framed, this article re-contextualises its history examining comparable practices and recalling the games evolution from earlier locative applications developed by Google to the experimental games of the modernist Avant Garde to which it has been compared. Central to this paper is discussion of the opportunities in the pervasive game development process for encoding and recoding the city by balancing in-game content with the nuances of the urban landscape in which it is played. While Pokémon Go has been revelatory in bringing awareness of pervasive gaming into the mainstream, this discussion of location-based games, public art projects, and playful approaches to urban exploration aims to fill gaps in the history of the field, and offer new possibilities for future game design and analysis.


Developing Ideation Cards for Mixed Reality Game Design

Wetzel RIchard Rodden Tom Benford Steve
2016 DiGRA/FDG '16 - Proceedings of the First International Joint Conference of DiGRA and FDG

Mixed reality games (MRGs) pose new challenges but also opportunities to designers. In order to make the design space of MRGs easily accessible and enable collaborative design in a playful manner we have developed Mixed Reality Game Cards. These ideation cards synthesize design knowledge about MRGs and are inspired by a variety of other successful ideation cards. We describe six studies, illustrate the iterative development of our cards, and reflect how the structure of our cards might influence future ideation cards.


The map as playground: Locationbased games as cartographical practices

Lammes Sybille
2011 DiGRA '11 - Proceedings of the 2011 DiGRA International Conference: Think Design Play

In this paper I will examine how maps in location-based mobile games are used as surfaces on which players can inscribe their whereabouts and other local information while being on the move. I will look at three different location-based games to which maps are central as a playing surface: RunZombieRun, Paranormal Activity Sanctuary and Own This World. My main argument will be that such cartographical location-based games foreground the fluidity of mapping and emphasise the performative aspects of playing with maps. As such they are not representations used by players for consultation, but as Latourian mediators (Latour 1990, 1993, 2004) they produce new social spaces (Lefebvre 1991). It therefore does not suffice to conceive maps in such games as “mimetic interfaces” (Juul 2009). Instead they should be approached as what I will call navigational interfaces. To understand them as such I will combine perspectives from game-studies with understandings of maps as technological and spatial practices as developed in Science and Technology Studies (STS) and Human Geography.


Breaking Reality: Exploring Pervasive Cheating in Foursquare

Glas René
2011 DiGRA '11 - Proceedings of the 2011 DiGRA International Conference: Think Design Play

This paper explores the notion of cheating in location-based mobile applications. Using the popular smartphone app Foursquare as main case study, I address the question if and how devious practices impact the boundaries between play and reality as a negotiated space of interaction. After establishing Foursquare as a prime example of the gamification phenomenon and pervasive gaming, both of which require us to rethink notions of game and play, I will argue that cheating in location-based mobile applications challenges not just the boundaries of play, but also of playful identity.


Lesser-known Worlds: Bridging the Telematic Flows with Located Human Experience Through Game Design

Polson Debra Caceres Marcos
2005 DiGRA '05 - Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference: Changing Views: Worlds in Play

This paper represents a new theorization of the role of location-based games (LBGs) as potentially playing specific roles in peoples’ access to the culture of cities [22]. A LBG is a game that employs mobile technologies as tools for game play in real world environments. We argue that as a new genre in the field of mobile entertainment, research in this area tends to be preoccupied with the newness of the technology and its commercial possibilities. However, this overlooks its potential to contribute to cultural production. We argue that the potential to contribute to cultural production lies in the capacity of these experiences to enhance relationships between specific groups and new urban spaces. Given that developers can design LBGs to be played with everyday devices in everyday environments, what new creative opportunities are available to everyday people?