chapter  31
9 Pages

Urban Gaming

Mobile Media, Spatial Practices, and Everyday Play
WithIngrid Richardson

This chapter explores the various modalities of mobile gaming and how mobile play is reshaping urban experience, from casual mobile games to location-based and augmented reality games. On the one hand, casual or “occasional” mobile games—played for minutes at a time and at irregular intervals—can be seen as a form of portable home entertainment that cocoons the player in public places. On the other hand, location-based augmented reality games that deploy navigational and image-capture technologies have the capacity to frame and mediate the ways we traverse, experience, share, and think about place; indeed, the digital mapping and representation of place increasingly pervades geosocial, interpersonal, and embodied experience in contemporary media culture. The chapter will conclude with a discussion of Pokémon GO as a significant “moment” in media history, through which we might critically interpret the entanglements of mobile media use, playful imaginaries, and games in quotidian urban life.