Monday, September 26, 2011

Book chapter out!

After a long wait, Online Gaming in Context, a fine collection of texts about online gaming published by Routledge, is finally out. Together with Torill Mortensen, Kristine Jørgensen and Luca Rossi I co-authored a chapter in there called “Framing the Game: Four Game-related Approaches to Goffman's Frames” (a title which I guess speaks for itself).

I haven’t held the book, which was edited by Gary Crawford, Victoria K. Gosling and Ben Light, in my hands yet, but it looks to be a highly interesting work which I would recommend to all interested in (the study of) online gaming. Here’s the book description – a full table of contents can be found on the Routledge site.

There is little question of the social, cultural and economic importance of video games in the world today, with gaming now rivalling the movie and music sectors as a major leisure industry and pastime. The significance of video games within our everyday lives has certainly been increased and shaped by new technologies and gaming patterns, including the rise of home-based games consoles, advances in mobile telephone technology, the rise in more 'sociable' forms of gaming, and of course the advent of the Internet.  
This book explores the opportunities, challenges and patterns of gameplay and sociality afforded by the Internet and online gaming. Bringing together a series of original essays from both leading and emerging academics in the field of game studies, many of which employ new empirical work and innovative theoretical approaches to gaming, this book considers key issues crucial to our understanding of online gaming and associated social relations, including: patterns of play, legal and copyright issues, player production, identity construction, gamer communities, communication, patterns of social exclusion and inclusion around religion, gender and disability, and future directions in online gaming. 

While the release of a paperback edition will apparently take some more months, the hardback can be bought through the usual channels like amazon.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Paper presentation on pervasive cheating.

I'll be presenting a paper called "Breaking Reality: Exploring Pervasive Cheating in Foursquare" at Think Design Play, the upcoming Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) conference. The Think Design Play program can be found here. For those interested, here's the abstract:

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.