Leighton Evans

Leighton Evans
Swansea University | SWAN

PhD

About

66
Publications
7,072
Reads
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553
Citations
Introduction
Leighton Evans currently works at Swansea University. Leighton does research in Sociocybernetics, Qualitative Social Research and Communication and Media. His current project is 'The re-emergence of Virtual Reality.'
Additional affiliations
February 2016 - November 2017
University of Brighton
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
March 2014 - January 2016
National University of Ireland, Maynooth
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow on ERC-funded 'Programmable City' project, PI Professor Rob Kitchin.
October 2008 - March 2013
Swansea University
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (66)
Book
Intergenerational Locative Play: Augmenting Family examines the social, spatial and physical impact of the hybrid reality game (HRG) Pokemon Go on the relationship between parents and their children. The ubiquity of digital media correlates with a mounting body of work that considers the part digital technologies, such as video games, play in the l...
Article
Full-text available
During the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic many governments imposed forced lockdowns and implemented social distancing measures. At the same time there was also a large increase in gaming sales, which was particularly pronounced in the Virtual Reality (VR) sector of the market. We hypothesize that this is no coincidence since VR immersion and...
Chapter
The emergence of Virtual Reality (VR) as a viable consumer medium for gaming offers an opportunity to reconceptualise understandings of immersion, embodiment and presence in gaming. However, many of the discourses and attempts to conceptualise experience in VR games conflate these terms rather than understanding each as a state of engagement with a...
Article
Virtual Reality (VR) has been proposed as a potentially revolutionary medium for pornography. The notion of VR as a an ‘empathy machine’ has led to predictions that VR will facilitate more empathetic relationships between pornography and the viewer, and pornographic actors and viewers. This affective turn in VR pornography is contingent upon the us...
Conference Paper
Pokémon Go is a hugely popular hybrid reality game (HRG) that allows players to occupy a space that is both physical and digital. Since its release in late 2016, it has been downloaded over 750 million times to date, and it is still played by over 5 million players on a daily basis. This paper reports on two original research projects. The first wa...
Chapter
Drawing on original qualitative research on both the seminal location-based social network (LBSN), Foursquare, and the hugely popular hybrid-reality game (HRG), Pokémon Go, the purpose of this chapter is to provide a historical and critical overview of the different ways in which people have utilised these locative applications to enhance and perso...
Chapter
This chapter examines the technocracy of smart cities and the set of urban technocrats that promote and implement their use. It first sets out the new technocracy at work and the forms of technocratic governance and governmentality it enacts. The chapter then details how this technocracy is supported by a new smart city epistemic community of techn...
Chapter
This book uses an international perspective to look at the sources of conflict and cooperation between the different landscapes of knowledge driving contemporary urban change, and the rise of new technocracy in urban governance.
Chapter
Full-text available
Article
Pokémon Go is a hugely popular hybrid reality game (HRG) that enables players to occupy a space that is simultaneously physical and digital. The general aim of Pokémon Go is to discover and then capture Pokémon. This article reports on an original research project designed to explore the impact of Pokémon Go on spatiality and sociability. The proje...
Book
Full-text available
In this short book, Evans interrogates the implications of VR’s re-emergence into the media mainstream, critiquing the notion of a VR revolution by analysing the development and ownership of VR companies while also exploring the possibilities of immersion in VR and the importance of immersion in the interest and ownership of VR enterprises. He asse...
Article
The modern retail store is a complex coded assemblage and data-intensive environment, its operations and management mediated by a number of interlinked big data systems. This paper draws on an ethnography of a retail store in Ireland to examine how these systems modulate the functioning of the store and working practices of employees. It was found...
Chapter
This chapter offers a comprehensive summary of the research on LBSN and spatiality, building to a critical analysis of the effects of LBSN use on understanding the spaces around users through the mechanism of play. The chapter also draws attention to the spatial turn in the humanities and the importance of the shift in social theory from questions...
Chapter
Building on the spatial and temporal elements of LBSNs developed in the previous two chapters, the focus here is LBSN use in the context of identity. Specifically, the chapter explores the various ways presenting and archiving spatial movements through LBSN can be called upon to present a certain self to others. Research in this field has indicated...
Article
LBSNs are often conceptualised as applications that one can use to explore locations and mark one’s movements through the check-in function. Importantly, these applications also carry a ‘recursive’ function, where a historical snapshot of previous check-ins are presented back to users. This offers an opportunity to review one’s own check-in history...
Article
The final chapter reiterates the conclusions on spatiality, temporality and identity and considers these findings in the context of other research findings and theory in the area. This chapter also surveys the area of LBSN as it stands and positions the current project in terms of LBSN research and social media research in general. The conclusions...
Article
This introductory chapter offers a summary of the history of location-based social media networking (LBSN) and a review of some of the critical literature that has emerged in this area. The chapter draws attention to the historical precedents for recent, popular LBSN such as Foursquare and indicates where key features of historic LBSN have been ret...
Article
Full-text available
We argue that the ideas, ideals and the rapid proliferation of smart city rhetoric and initiatives globally have been facilitated and promoted by three inter-related communities: (i) `urban technocrats'; (ii) a smart cities `epistemic community'; (iii) a wider `advocacy coalition'. We examine their roles and the multiscale formation, and why despit...
Preprint
The modern retail store is a complex coded assemblage and data-intensive environment, its operations and management mediated by a number of interlinked big data systems. This paper draws on an ethnography of a superstore in Ireland to examine how these systems modulate the functioning of the store and working practices of employees. It was found th...
Conference Paper
Pokémon Go is a location-based augmented reality (AR) game that allows players to occupy a space that is simultaneously physical and digital. In a short period of time it has become a global phenomenon, celebrated as offering a ‘unique’ experience ‘like no other’. The screen interface of the smartphone running Pokémon Go presents players with a dig...
Preprint
In this paper, we argue that the ideas, ideals and the rapid proliferation of smart city rhetoric and initiatives globally have been facilitated and promoted by three inter-related communities. A new set of ‘urban technocrats’ – chief innovation/technology/data officers, project managers, consultants, designers, engineers, change-management civil s...
Book
This book looks extends current understandings of the effects of using locative social media on spatiality, the experience of time and identity. This is a pertinent and timely topic given the increase in opportunities people now have to explicitly and implicitly share their location through digital and mobile technologies. There is a growing body o...
Book
This book looks extends current understandings of the effects of using locative social media on spatiality, the experience of time and identity. This is a pertinent and timely topic given the increase in opportunities people now have to explicitly and implicitly share their location through digital and mobile technologies. There is a growing body o...
Article
The role of location-based social networks (LBSNs) on identity is a relatively unexplored area within the growing cannon of work on locative media. Following an exegesis of Giddens’s argument that narrative biographical accounts are critical in self-identity in the modern age and Foucault’s technologies of the self, this article positions LBSN, and...
Article
Full-text available
Over the past two decades urban social life has undergone a rapid and pervasive geocoding, becoming mediated, augmented and anticipated by location-sensitive technologies and services that generate and utilise big, personal, locative data. The production of these data has prompted the development of exploratory data-driven computing experiments tha...
Article
Foursquare is a location-based social network (LBSN) that combines gaming elements with features conventionally associated with social networking sites (SNSs). Following two qualitative studies, this article sets out to explore what impact this overlaying of physical environments with play has on everyday life and experiences of space and place. Dr...
Article
Full-text available
Foursquare is a location-based social network (LBSN) that can be used to explore locations and mark one's movements in the form of 'check-ins'. This paper investigates why some Foursquare users are choosing to record their locational past, and in so doing using it as a 'mediated memory object' (Dijck, 2009). The paper explores the different ways us...
Article
One promise of the switchover from analogue to digital television was new accessibility solutions. In the case of deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences who rely on subtitling for comprehension, the digital switchover makes it possible for greater provision of subtitling or improvements in accuracy. Utilizing quantitative data from a questionnaire comp...
Article
This book offers a critical analysis of the effect of usage of locative social media on the perceptions and phenomenal experience of lived in spaces and places. Drawing on users accounts of location-based social networking, a digital post-phenomenology of place is developed to explain how place is mediated in the digital age.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Contemporary or " smart " bike share schemes have exploited the capacity of information and communications technologies to effectively automate systems and deliver improved mobility and convenience for citizens in a way that is both sympathetic to the environment and cost effective for service providers. However, research in the sector has tended t...
Chapter
The accumulation of capital through being somewhere could seem, at first, an odd concept. Humans are always “somewhere” and, as such, what is being proposed here is that this necessary and unavoidable facet of being human may be a commodity to be traded. Of course, from one perspective a link between commoditisation and location is obvious; the use...
Chapter
This chapter focuses on the thing, in this context the “computational device,” and how it is capable of revealing place as place in the digitally mediated world. LBSN can be a “thing” (Das Ting) in the sense that Heidegger employs the word, as a world-revealing entity that gathers the necessary elements together to understand world (and place) in a...
Chapter
To understand the use of LBSN in everyday contexts and how this affects users’ experience of place, a substantial and original body of research on user experiences needed to the conducted. This chapter will detail he methods and techniques used in that research process, and will detail the practices and behaviours of using LBSN that are indicative...
Chapter
The primary consideration of this chapter is how maps and other location technologies are representations of how humans have considered territory over time, and as such a reflection of how place has been understood over time. The purpose of this chapter is to offer a selective outline of the historical development of mapping systems and technologie...
Chapter
This chapter provides a brief exegesis of understanding of place in Heidegger’s philosophy from the equipmental spatiality of Being and Time, the danger of modern technology and technicity to understanding place through the role of “the thing” as a gathering entity through its “thinging.” The purpose of this is to support the contention that the us...
Article
Through an investigation of patterns of use of the location-based social network Foursquare derived from an extensive ethnographic survey of users, this paper focuses on the orientation of users towards location-based social media and mobile computational devices. Utilising Heidegger’s notions of mood and attunement to the world, the paper argues t...
Article
Location-based services comprise the fastest growing sector in web technology business [1, p. 9]. These services, be they location-based social networks, satellite navigation devices in cars, or augmented reality browsers as applications on mobile phones, have opened questions about their mediating effects on the awareness of location and engagemen...
Chapter
Efficient and on-time execution of field tasks has been found to rely heavily on internal availability of inventories. However, the lack of flexibility in the way information flows along the logistics chain has led to poor inventory replenishment lead times. This results in delayed execution of field tasks and has a negative impact on customer expe...
Article
This article argues that location-based services (LBS) like the social network-based LBS Foursquare are playing an active role in the transformation of experience of the world for users. Based on Heidegger's critique of modern technology and view of technology as a modern ontotheology, and using quantitative and qualitative analyses, this article a...
Article
Full-text available
When someone says "I am online", it is a phenomenological issue. In reflecting upon the later philosophy of Martin Heidegger, in particular focusing upon The Question Concerning Technology, social networking is a classic modern technology. The essence of the technology of social networking is Enframing, the essence of all modern technology for Heid...

Projects

Projects (4)
Project
Code and software actively influence space and social behavior in our increasingly smart cities. But to what extent? And how? In our project we want to critically investigate the process of location-based augmented reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) software development and implementation in the cultural and geographical context and to asses the role of algorithmic power in the urban space.