The game of being mobile: mobile technologies, gaming cultures and the haptic

Organisers: Larissa Hjorth and Ingrid Richardson

10 - 11 July 2008
Games Lab, RMIT Melbourne

This project aims to stimulate discussion, debate and research into the burgeoning area of mobile gaming, with a particular focus on extending discourses around ‘screen cultures’ into the realm of the haptic. In particular, the project seeks to counter the notion that our experience of screens (and digital media more generally), is largely ‘virtual’ and disembodied – or at most exclusively audiovisual. From location aware gaming (using GPS) to casual games accessed on the mobile phone, the realm of mobile gaming is becoming increasingly prevalent in contemporary culture. Mobile gaming highlights the ongoing importance of the local, the contextual and the embodied in determining definitions of mobility, play and place.

In these contexts, the project will conduct a two-day workshop – The game of being mobile – bringing together Australian experts in mobile gaming and mobile media to discuss past, present and future outcomes for the convergent role of mobile technologies and game cultures as part of socio-cultural practices. Specifically, the workshop aims to combine philosophical, new media and ethnographic approaches as a means of critically interpreting the growing correlation between mobile gaming and emerging haptic screen cultures.

The aims of the workshop include:

Report

The game of being mobile brought together Australian experts (researchers, educators and practitioners) in mobile gaming and mobile media to discuss past, present and future outcomes for the convergent role of mobile technologies and game cultures as part of socio-cultural practices. In particular, the two-day workshop aimed to combine philosophical, new media and ethnographic approaches as a means of critically interpreting the growing correlation between mobile gaming and emerging haptic screen cultures.

The result of the two days of discussions and debates led to the establishment of an ongoing research group, GLAMM. (Games, Location, Art & Mobile Media). The GLAMM blog ( http://blog.glamm.org/ ) hopes to provide a taxonomy of projects and research in this area; we aim for GLAMM’s projects to be inclusive and we welcome new participants.

The GLAMM group aims to investigate ‘communities, practices and contexts’ within three areas/platforms:

  1. Domestic
  2. Institutional
  3. Art
Please see the blog for further details. Many thanks again to ARC CRN Cultural Technologies node for providing this opportunity.