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‘The City Becomes the Game’s Playground’: Discursive Claims

  • Dale Leorke
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter dissects the two overarching arguments and claims made by scholars and designers about location-based games and their impact on their players’ experiences of public space. The first claim concerns their potential to facilitate social interaction and chance encounters with strangers and other players. The second encompasses claims about their ability to reconfigure their players’ relationships with the physical environment and everyday spaces in which the game is played. These claims position location-based games within a broader historical legacy of play in public space, including the importance of play in public life (through the work of Georg Simmel, Erving Goffman, Richard Sennett, and others) and their transgressive or subversive potential (including their lineage in the practices of the Situationist International, flâneurie, and parkour). The final section seeks to move beyond these discursive claims, arguing for an approach to studying location-based games that goes beyond the highly loaded—and often unempirical—pronouncements made about them.

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dale Leorke
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre of Excellence in Game Culture StudiesUniversity of TampereTampereFinland

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