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

  • PUBLISHED: 2020