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Facebook Applications and Playful Mood: the Construction of Online Third Places
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Facebook Applications and Playful Mood: the Construction of Online Third Places


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presentation at the Brunel seminar on games, 2008

presentation at the Brunel seminar on games, 2008

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  • 1. Facebook Applications, Playful Mood, and the Construction of Online Third Places Valentina Rao / / Factory Girl @ Brunel 2nd Annual Postgraduate Conference 16.9.2008
  • 2.
    • Ludification of culture (Raessens)
    • Fun Revolution : “force the fun into the policy agenda” (Castronova)
    • Play: first skill of an education for the 21st century (Jenkins)
    • “ Free play” at the core of participatory culture (Jenkins)
    • = diffusion of playful practices in non-play environments
  • 3. Applications in social networks
  • 4. Applications in social networks
  • 5. Applications in social networks
  • 6.
    • What is their role?
    • Social lubricant?
    • Marketing strategy?
    • Are they games?
  • 7. simulation versus representation
    • Simulations “allow the player to perform actions that will modify the behavior of the system” (Frasca)
  • 8. Random outcome, no skills, 2-clicks actions, text instead of gameplay
  • 9. Representation? Performance?
  • 10. Introducing “Third Places” (R. Oldenburg)
    • “ third place” - separate from home and work
    • “ agora of the common man”
    • bars, cafes, cantines, beer gardens, taverns
    • characteristics: the main activity is conversation , they are easily accessible , they act as a leveler , they feature regulars , have a low profile , offer a neutral ground , they feel like a home away from home , and the mood is playful .
  • 11. Is Facebook a virtual “third place”?
  • 12. Playfulness is a more important consideration than play. The former is an attitude of the mind; the latter is a passing outward manifestation of this attitude (Dewey) Playfulness: cognitive spontaneity, social spontaneity, physical spontaneity, manifest joy, sense of humor (Barnett)
  • 13. Facebook Applications as “casual fun”
    • Ludus <---> Paidia (play governed by rules versus free play) suspension of disbelief, magic circle, contract, lusory goals
    • fun: activity (often with a goal), absorption
    • playful mood: no goal, eventually no activity, but it needs a place and a group (a circle)
    • Playfulness is social!
  • 14.
    • “ third places”: “frivolity, verbal wordplay, and wit” “human warmth” “being apart together”
    • relates to physical dimension
    • virtual third places:
    • representations of physical actions, instead of physical actions
    • performance of play as a symbolic action to create the place’s identity as a “third place”
  • 15. Conclusions
    • Rise of playful activities (similar to casual games, only even more casual)
    • Social networks as “playful spaces”, “playgrounds”, “play areas”, “third places”; playfulness is always social, sociability often involves playfulness
    • Playfulness as a parameter in web design, aside usability (Follett)
  • 16.
    • Playfulness bridges between digital literacy and non-digital fields (transmedia narratives) ( and casual games/Kuittinen, Kultima et al.)
    • And between game literates and traditional “passive” audiences (transmedia storytelling, ARGs, remediation:Penguin 6 Stories)
    • The single player/viewer becomes a social player thanks to--- playfulness
    • To understand the dynamics of playfulness and mood in social media will help understand Web 2.0, 3.0, and the dynamics of participatory culture
  • 17. Thank you for your attention! Valentina Rao [email_address]