Conference Paper

Blurring boundaries between everyday life and pervasive gaming: an interview study of ingress

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Abstract

We present findings from an interview-based study of the pervasive mobile multiplayer game Ingress. Our study focuses on how boundaries between (1) everyday life and play and (2) 'real' and game space blur in pervasive gaming. We present findings on how the game is integrated into everyday life and affects players' mobility patterns, and on how players experience the relation between real world and game world, the game 'bleeding' into the everyday (blurring boundaries at least partially) even though it is not explicitly experienced as hybrid. Furthermore we discuss how notions of play versus ordinary life still affect some players, and how some players are willing to take and create risks and treat the game as consequential in their everyday interactions with (enemy) players. This further blurs the boundaries of the magic circle, but also creates tensions between casual and serious styles of play. Our findings add to the empirical literature on pervasive games by focusing on player experience in a large-scale pervasive game.

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... The first two are hybrid games. They are pervasive and turn the physical space into either board game [34] or transform any city, town, or village in the world into a playground [54]. These games do not require users to follow any dedicated paths in the sense of a traditional linear route through a city but rather they facilitate more serendipitous discovery as users choose to "hunt" for different objects or monsters in their local neighbourhood. ...
... These games have millions of players and attract the attention of researchers interested in a variety of factors. First, an issue of interest is the relationship of players to play and their need to consider issues such as territoriality and notions of boundaries or place attachment [34,51,52]. Second, there are studies that consider the formation of communities of players, the user experience (UX), and user motivations [17,24,31,37,48,49]. ...
... With this booklet, we simulated interactions for all of the four features that we expect to stimulate reflection. This study was described in detail in a previous article [34], the results of which led to the refinement and development of the game mechanics as well as the first evaluation of the content and the mechanisms for reflection. ...
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... Pervasive popular games such as Geocaching [48] leverage location-based mobile features to support players in locating hidden treasures and collecting rewards in their physical world. Other augmented reality games like Pokemon Go [49] and Ingress [29] overlay co-located character avatars in the virtual game onto players' physical surroundings. Players can locate, capture, and battle virtual characters found by navigating spaces in the real world. ...
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... The key concept of "Ingress" is that there are two factions of players: the "Enlightenment" and the "Resistance", and players need to choose only one of them to identify themselves with. Both factions need to expand their influence in the virtual space and this is achieved conquering in the virtual space specific locations of the real space named "portals" that are dispersed in various locations, mainly in urban areas [26]. ...
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... Another earlier example is the game Ingress (Released 2012 also by Niantic) which is also a mainstream locationbased augmented reality game, affecting players everyday life (cf. [10]). ...
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... The most well-known example is Pokémon GO, which allows users to collect virtual creatures that appear on-screen as if they were in the same physical location as the player [17]. Other examples include Ingress [28], Street Art Gangs [1], and Zombies Run! [55]. ...
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... Since that time newer research has come to study other mobile platforms and their relationship to space. For example, research on gaming apps Pokémon Go or Ingress has drawn on some of this earlier research on Foursquare and other LMSNs (Evans & Saker, 2018;Karpashevich, Hornecker, Dankwa, Hanafy, & Fietkau, 2016). Rather than just moving on to the next new platform to study geomedia, we want to revisit Foursquare. ...
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... Location-based games (LBGs) rose to prominence in 2016 with the launch of Pokémon GO even though some LBGs had already gained popularity previously, such as Zombies, Run [34] and Ingress [15]. LBGs are often referred to as augmented reality (AR) games as they create a virtual world on top of the real world [11]. ...
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... The game requires collaboration between players to gain bigger achievements in the game [47]. Karpashevich et al. [23] reported local collaborations between Ingress players, both within a faction and between factions. They observed playing styles and attitudes ranging from casual and friendly to hostile and almost military structures inside local factions. ...
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As new mobile and gaming technologies become increasingly ubiquitous, they encourage new modes of storytelling and engagement. This article focuses on the Google game Ingress, which combines augmented reality with geomedia to create a robust and complex digital narrative. More importantly, Ingress combines globalism with regionalism in a way that rewrites the regional as global, and vice versa. In turn, the transformative nature of the smaller real-world regionalist narratives help to lend ethos to the overarching globalist (fictional) narrative within the game world. Through narrative analysis of this transmedia game world and community, this article considers ways that information and communications technologies are able to use storytelling to negotiate complex relationships between the regional and the global.
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This article presents an empirical analysis of the location-based mobile game (LBMG) geocaching – a worldwide scavenger hunt enabled by Web 2.0 and global positioning system (GPS) technology. The analysis is informed by a non-representational approach through which the urban space where the game is played and the use and performance of information and communication technologies (ICTs) are grasped as mutually constitutive processes. This approach sheds new light on the phenomenon of geocaching as it prioritizes the embodied performances through which the player relates the hybrid game space with the contingency and affective potential of urban space. This relation is partly constituted through the notion of a ‘player gaze’, through which the player appropriates his/her surroundings. The analysis also demonstrates how the game expands the edges of the ‘magic circle’ of play, thereby merging the ‘serious’ spaces of everyday life with the playfulness related to the game. Previous studies on geocaching have mainly focused on the sharing of places and ‘local knowledge’ within the game, and thus paying little, if any, attention to the role of the player and the ways in which he/she enhances the playability of the game through playful improvisations invoked by affective encounters with non-players. The article suggests that these embodied performances intertwine with the urban fabric and technological affordances, thereby sparking a potential ‘re-enchantment’ of the urban space. The analysis draws on a qualitative fieldwork conducted from 2011 to 2012 amongst practitioners of geocaching in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Conference Paper
Location based social networking applications enable people to share their location with friends for social purposes by "checking in" to places they visit. Prior research suggests that both privacy and impression management motivate location disclosure concerns. In this interview study of foursquare users, we explore the ways people think about location sharing and its effects on impression management and formation. Results indicate that location-sharing decisions depend on the perceived visibility of the check-in, blur boundaries between public and private venues, and can initiate tensions within the foursquare friend network. We introduce the concept of "check-in transience" to explain factors contributing to impression management and argue that sharing location is often used as a signaling strategy to achieve social objectives.
Article
Studying pervasive games is inherently difficult and different from studying computer or board games. This article builds upon the experiences of staging and studying several playful pervasive technology prototypes. It discusses the challenges and pitfalls of evaluating pervasive game prototypes and charts methods that have proven useful in previous research. The aim is to open discussion on the situated methodology of qualitative study of evaluating and researching pervasive play.
Article
This article provides a historical overview of the development of urban, location-based, and hybrid-reality mobile games. It investigates the extent to which urban spaces have been used as playful spaces prior to the advent of mobile technologies to show how the concept of play has been enacted in urban spaces through three historical tropes of urbanity: first, the transformation of Baudelaire’s flâneur into what Robert Luke (2006) calls the “phoneur”; second, the idea of dérive as used by situationist Guy Débord; and last, the wall subculture called parkour. The authors present a classification of the major types of mobile games to date, addressing how they reenact this older meaning of play apparent within these former tropes of urbanity. With this approach, they hope to address two weaknesses in the current scholarship—namely, differentiating among a range of types of games mediated by mobile technologies and assessing the important effects of playful activities.
Conference Paper
Applications that provide location-based experiences are an increasingly viable design space given the proliferation of GPS-enabled mobile devices. However, these applications are in their infancy, and we do not yet know what design factors will contribute to their success. For this reason, we have studied the well-established location-based experience of geocaching. We report on the results of a survey of geocachers along with observations from our own in-depth geocaching activities. Our findings illustrate that geocaching permits users to create a range of experiences for others within a permeable yet restricted culture of norms. Once created, geocaches are maintained by the community of geocachers through a well-designed groupware system. Here maintenance acts can be performed "in the small," given their lightweight and well-defined nature, and become less about maintenance and more about personal participation. These findings provide insight into how community and groupware can be leveraged to support applications for location-based experiences.
Conference Paper
This paper is an addition to the discourse surrounding interface theory and pervasive games. A buzzword by nature, the terminterfaceneeds to be investigated and redefined in order to remain academically valid; at the same time the pervasive game, being part of recent developments in game culture, needs to be given a place in the discourse of digital games. By approaching the interface through formal game theory, I will investigate the place and status of the interface in the pervasive game, as well as the border between everyday reality and the virtual game world, in search of defining the interaction between fantasy and reality in pervasive gaming. Next to the conventional interface of hard- and software, I argue that in pervasive gaming there exists the two-levelled "liminal" interface, which initially transfers the player into a playful state of mind (paratelic interface) before implementing more rigid structures that belong to the game itself (paraludic interface).
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Ingress: A Game, Lifestyle and Social Network in One!
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Google accused of 'blatantly' ripping off Grey Area Games' Shadow Cities. Indie Statik News
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