Frames and Bystanders: Uncle Roy All Around You

Part of the Human-Computer Interaction Series book series (HCIS)


Uncle Roy All Around You is an exploration of the boundaries of public interaction that deliberately blurs the distinction between the real and the fictional to a great extent. Reflecting upon the nature of the players’ various experiences and the activities of artists and technical crew running the game, this chapter further widens the observations of previous study chapters, the main new contribution to which is Goffman’s notion of the frame and the work involved in establishing and maintaining the ‘game world’ of Uncle Roy All Around You. Actors and orchestrators running the game construct the frame by induction routines and ambiguous clues, whereas participants (players) interpret the frame. The boundaries of the frame are configured in such a way so as to implicate people and objects through the use of purposeful ambiguity which then came to be interpreted by participants within the context of their local environment. Placing roles—that of actors, participants, orchestrators and so on—within the context of the frame leads to the addition of the role of the bystander—the role that is outside of the frame but may nevertheless be engaged unwittingly through the ambiguity of frame boundaries. Subdivisions of the frame are also examined, building upon settings discussed previously—i.e., behind-the-scenes and centre-stage settings—to include front-of-house areas through which participants in the game are inducted. Finally, Uncle Roy All Around You also presents a further example of the concept of transition introduced in previous chapters, examining transitions between orchestrator and actor through interventions by orchestrators on city streets.


Previous Chapter City Street Hotel Room Ambiguous Status Game World 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Benford, S., Crabtree, A., Flintham, M., Drozd, A., Anastasi, R., Paxton, M., Tandavanitj, N., Adams, M., Row-Farr, J.: Can you see me now? ACM Trans. Comput.-Hum. Interact. 13(1), 100–133 (2006). doi: 10.1145/1143518.1143522 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Benford, S., Crabtree, A., Reeves, S., Flintham, M., Drozd, A., Sheridan, J.G., Dix, A.: The frame of the game: Blurring the boundary between fiction and reality in mobile experiences. In: Proceedings of SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), pp. 427–436. ACM, New York (2006). doi: 10.1145/1124772.1124836 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Benford, S., Flintham, M., Drozd, A., Anastasi, R., Rowland, D., Tandavanitj, N., Adams, M., Row-Farr, J., Oldroyd, A., Sutton, J.: Uncle Roy All Around You: Implicating the city in a location-based performance. In: Proceedings of Conference on Advanced Computer Entertainment (ACE) (2004) Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Benford, S., Seager, W., Flintham, M., Anastasi, R., Rowland, D., Humble, J., Stanton, D., Bowers, J., Tandavanitj, N., Adams, M., Farr, J.R., Oldroyd, A.: Sutton: The error of our ways: the experience of self-reported position in a location-based game. In: Proc. of the 6th International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing, UbiComp, 2004, pp. 70–87. Springer/ACM, New York (2004) Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Crabtree, A., Benford, S., Rodden, T., Greenhalgh, C., Flintham, M., Anastasi, R., Drozd, A., Adams, M., Row-Farr, J., Tandavanitj, N., Steed, A.: Orchestrating a mixed reality game ‘on the ground’. In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 391–398. ACM, New York (2004). doi: 10.1145/985692.985742 Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Dix, A., Sheridan, J.G., Reeves, S., Benford, S., O’Malley, C.: Formalising performative interactions. In: Proceedings of 12th International Workshop on Design, Specification and Verification of Interactive Systems (DSVIS), pp. 15–25 (2005). doi: 10.1007/11752707_2 Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Garfinkel, H.: Studies in Ethnomethodology. Prentice-Hall, New York (1967) Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gaver, W., Beaver, J., Benford, S.: Ambiguity as a resource for design. In: Proceedings of Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), pp. 233–240. ACM, New York (2003). doi: 10.1145/642611.642653 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Goffman, E.: Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience. Harper & Row, New York (1974) Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Goodwin, C.: Professional vision. Am. Anthropol. 96(3), 606–633 (1994) CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Levine, M.R.: Rethinking bystander non-intervention: social categorisation and the evidence of witnesses at the James Bulger murder trial. Hum. Relat. 52(9), 1133–1155 (1999) Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Montola, M., Stenros, J., Waern, A.: Pervasive Games: Theory and Design. Morgan Kaufmann, San Mateo (2010) Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Sacks, H.: Notes on police assessment of moral character. In: Sudnow, D.N. (ed.) Studies in Social Interaction, pp. 280–293. Free Press, New York (1972) Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Sheridan, J.G.: Digital Live Art: Mediating wittingness in playful arenas. Ph.D. thesis, Department of Computing, Lancaster University (2006) Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Sheridan, J.G., Bryan-Kinns, N., Bayliss, A.: Encouraging witting participation and performance in digital live art. In: BCS-HCI’07: Proceedings of the 21st British HCI Group Annual Conference on People and Computers, pp. 13–23. British Computer Society, Swinton (2007) Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Horizon Digital Economy ResearchUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK

Personalised recommendations