GETTING PERSONAL: A CASE STUDY OF THE POLITICS OF PERSONALIZATION IN AN AGE OF (GEO) SOCIAL MOBILE MEDIA GAMING
While the deployment of social mobile media expands earlier modes of civic engagement and media it also departs from the previous media by providing various modes of networked visual and aural communication with greater affective personalisation. This is particularly the case in terms of geomedia—that is, location-based services (LBS) deployed through mobile media—whereby the geographic, social and cultural dimensions of place are overlaid onto the electronic co-present. This overlaying is what can be called mobile intimacy.
With the introduction of foursquare, Jie Pang (China) and flags (South Korea) we have witnessed a rise in geomedia that draws from older models of urban mobile gaming and localised forms of cultural practice as well as creating new types of “seriously casual” engagement and co-presence. Geomedia also provides examples of fusions between the public and private—extending Lauren Berlant’s notion of intimate publics. But most importantly, what geomedia identifies is not only the saliency of local practices but also gender in informing the cartographies of mobile intimacy.
Drawing from a decade long investigation into gendered mobile media in the Asia-Pacific region, along with more recent research into mobile games in six locations in the region (Manila, Seoul, Singapore, Shanghai, Tokyo and Melbourne) this talk will explore the specific technological, socio-cultural and linguistic and geographic factors at play that are helping to shape new forms of games at the convergent cross-roads of mobile and social media and what this means to gendered media literacies. In order to do so I will sketch some of the conceptual paradigms informing the rise of serious mobile games (‘urban mobile games’) and how this can be traced through notions of place and co-presence; I then go on to discuss the different types of urban mobile games, and some of the pioneering examples in these genres. Lastly, I discuss a couple of examples of geomedia in the Asia-Pacific region in order to rethink connections notions of presence, engagement and place.
SUGGESTED SEMINAR READINGS
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Larissa Hjorth (2010) ‘The Game of Being Social: Web 2.0, Social Media, and Online Games’ in Iowa Journal of Communication, Special issue: Games and Culture: Asia-Pacific perspectives (ed) Dal Yong Jin 42(1): 73-92. (PDF)
Larissa Hjorth (2011) It’s Complicated: Mobile intimacy and creativity in an age of social media and affective technology, Communication, Politics and Culture, special issue (ed) Chris Hudson, 44 (1): 45-56. (PDF)
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