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Pokéwalkers, mafia dons, and football fans : play mobile with me
Kurzfassung in Englisch
This paper addresses a theoretical reconfiguration of experience, a repositioning of the techno-social within the domains of mobility, games, and play, and embodiment. The ideas aim to counter the notion that our experience with videogames (and digital media more generally), is largely “virtual” and disembodied – or at most exclusively audiovisual. Notions of the virtual and disembodied support an often-tacit belief that technologically mediated experiences count for nothing if not perceived and valued as human. It is here where play in particular can be put to work, be made to highlight and clarify, for it is in play that we find this value of humanity most wholly embodied. Further, it is in considering the design of the metagame that questions regarding the play experience can be most powerfully engaged. While most of any given game’s metagame emerges from play communities and their larger social worlds (putting it out of reach of game design proper), mobile platforms have the potential to enable a stitching together of these experiences: experiences held across time, space, communities, and bodies. This coming together thus represents a convergence not only of media, participants, contexts, and technologies, but of human experience itself. This coming together is hardly neat, nor fully realized. It is, if nothing else, multifaceted and worthy of further study. It is a convergence in which the dynamics of screen play are reengaged.