ambientplay

Ambient Play

We often play games on our mobile devices when we have some time to kill—waiting in line, pausing between tasks, stuck on a bus. We play in solitude or in company, alone in a bedroom or with others in the family room. In Ambient Play, we examine how mobile gameplay fits into our day-to-day lives. Through innovative ethnographic methods, we show that as mobile games spread across different genres, platforms, practices, and contexts, they become an important way of experiencing and navigating a digitally saturated world. Mobile games become conduits for ambient play, pervading much of our social and communicative terrain.

Ambient Play also explores how households are transformed by media—how idiosyncratic media use can alter the spatial composition and emotional cadence of the home. The book invites us to think of mobile gaming as more than a “casual” distraction but as a complex cultural practice embedded into our contemporary ways of being, knowing, and communicating.

Product Details

  • Publish Date: August 2020
  • Hardcover: 200 Pages
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 9780262044363
  • Available here

About the Author

Distinguished Professor Larissa Hjorth is an artist and digital ethnographer. Hjorth has two decades experience working in interdisciplinary, collaborative, playful and socially innovative digital media methods to explore intergenerational relationships in cross-cultural contexts.

Hjorth is currently the Design & Creative Practice ECP Platform director at RMIT University. The Platform focuses on interdisciplinary collaboration and creative solution to real-world problems, especially in relation to ageing well, careful and multisensorial methods.

Recent publications include Haunting Hands (with Cumiskey, Oxford Uni Press), Understanding Social Media(with Hinton, 2nd Edition Sage), Creative Practice Ethnographies (with Harris, Jungnickel and Coombs, Rowman & Little) and Ambient Play (with Richardson, MIT Press).

 

Professor Ingrid Richardson has been teaching, supervising and researching in the fields of digital media, mobile media and games for over twenty years. She has a broad interest in the human-technology relation and has published widely on the phenomenology of games and mobile media, digital ethnography and innovative research methods, the relation between technology use and wellbeing, and the cultural effects of urban screens, wearable technologies, virtual and augmented reality, remix culture and web-based content creation and distribution. Ingrid has led or co-led 14 funded research projects, the most recent being an ARC DP [Games of Being Mobile] with Larissa Hjorth. She is contributing co-editor of Studying Mobile Media (Routledge, 2011) and co-author of Gaming in Social, Locative and Mobile Media (Palgrave, 2014), Ambient Play (MIT, 2020), Understanding Games and Game Cultures (Sage, 2020), Exploring Minecraft: Ethnographies of Play and Creativity (Palgrave, forthcoming), and Mobile Media and the Urban Night (Palgrave, forthcoming).

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