Big Games and HipstersCool Capital in Pervasive Gaming Festivals
who am i_ Dan Dixonsenior lecturer - university of the west of englandresident at pervasive media studiomember of digital ...
what are pervasive games?
contested termAlternate reality games        Transmedial gamesAugmented reality games        Urban gamesMixed-reality game...
my project
street/urban gaming festivals
gentrification: the game
hipsters
hipsters and habitus
hipster aesthetic_ referential symbolism, intentionally ironic_ authenticity and difference_ inversions of childhood and a...
digital hipsters
(digital) hipster aesthetic_ highly referential (but not ironic)_ lo-fi and hand-made aesthetic_ childhood games with adul...
gentrification and irony
thanks for listening
Big Games and Hipsters: Cool Capital in Pervasive Gaming Festivals
Big Games and Hipsters: Cool Capital in Pervasive Gaming Festivals
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Big Games and Hipsters: Cool Capital in Pervasive Gaming Festivals

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Pervasive and street gamers are compared and contrasted with the infamous subculture known as hipsters, showing that although they are quite different social groups their aesthetics operate in similar ways. Specific attention is given to the emergent, socially relative nature of these aesthetics and the operation of ‘cool’ cultural capital. These findings are based on ethnographic field work carried out in 2010 at the Come Out and Play festival.

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  • Some people here have been making pervasive games for a decade\n\nSome people are completely new.\n
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  • 1. Aims\n• To carry out an appropriately critical exploration and discussion of the subject of pervasive and mixed reality games.\n• To carry out a research project that is firmly grounded in empirical, qualitative research.\n• To construct a framework for understanding pervasive gaming in relation to the specificities of culture, lived space and interaction with contemporary technology\n\n2. Research Questions\n• How is the practice of pervasive gaming culturally situated? \n• How does a network of actors, such as designers, players,\nfestivals and technologies, emerge, change and stabilise? \n• How is design enabled and constrained by this technical and\ncultural situation? \n• How does the techno-cultural situation contribute to the\naesthetics of pervasive gaming? \n• What is the common aesthetic experience of pervasive games?\n• What is different from other experiences? \n• What is the core experience of these activities? \n• What does technology contribute to these experiences?\n
  • Come Out and Play 06, 07 (amsterdam), 08, 09, 10\nHide and Seek 08, 09, 10\nigfest 08, 09, 10\n
  • Come Out and Play 06, 07 (amsterdam), 08, 09, 10\nHide and Seek 08, 09, 10\nigfest 08, 09, 10\n
  • Who is playing these games? What does this mean to people not playing them?\n
  • Defining hipsters is difficult \n\nTerm from 1940s\n\nCurrent hipsters grew out of indie music scene\n\n\nHipsters\n_ anti-political, consumerist\n_ owning an aesthetic around the tensions between knowingness and naivete, adult and child\n_ have a logic of cool (cultural capital)\n\ndigital or game hipsters\n\n\n
  • Story of lady and her comments about hipsters. Discussion with organisers. Irony with respect to the game of gentrification.\n\nStreet game players are like hipsters but they are not hipsters\n\nBourdieu - Habitus - Set of dispositions, tastes, cultures, language, sensibilities, education\nBut not demographics\nUnconscious\nThe habits that we inhabit. Structuring structures.\n\nHipsters\n_ anti-political, consumerist\n_ owning an aesthetic around the tensions between knowingness and naivete, adult and child\n_ have a logic of cool (cultural capital)\n\ndigital or game hipsters\n\nSlightly different types of people in NYC, London and Bristol.\n\n25 - 35, white, maybe slightly more male, but fairly even. All have degrees and a lot have post graduate qualifications. In NYC massive game contingent (some people attracted to the freeness). In London media/ICT crowd. \n\nSome families at both, but surprisingly large number not actually playing. Games/festivals are not really designed for kids.\n
  • \nIngrid Tolstadt “Hey Hipster! You’re a Hispter” examines the functioning of hipster aesthetics and cool cultural capital.\n
  • \nStructural similarities between hipsters and street gamers\n\nShare similar upbringings, \nsimilar educational levels (higher in street gamers I believe)\nsimilar work - hipsters work in media, digital media, advertising, and specialists service and specialist retail\n\ndigital hipsters work in the areas where there is creative use of digital technology. media fields, programmers, designers.\n
  • what are the similarities between hipster culture and big game culture\n\nHipster referencing is intended to be highly ironic. Big games are celebratory\n\nHand made, the makings are visible. The game designers are there. Evokes a feeling of authenticity. This is similar to the crafting movement. Which also has a lot of crossover with hipster culture.\n\nCool as a necessary condition of these games and festivals functioning. Relates to the marketing. Control and management of this cultural capital can bring financial success.\n
  • \nDigital hipsters get street gaming at a deeper level than casual players. \n\nThe getting it types and the not\n\nThey have a feel for the game in the Bourdian sense of habitus.\n
  • \nMultiple layers of symbolisms, works on many levels for those that have the cultural capital to appreciate.\n\n(Arguably) children’s Monopoly scaled up as a means to tackle the adult issue of gentrification\n\nPlayed in gentrified areas (park slope, Southwick, Mehringplatz)\n\nBut the ultimate an unintended irony is that these digital hipsters are playing at gentrification when the actual forces of gentrification are hipsters, themselves included, who lead the armies of developers and chain stores to suddenly new, hip areas.\n\nUsing debord and lefebvre as examples, play can be used/deployed as powerful dialectics of space and society, but it needs to be careful otherwise the designers and players are continuing to create the same inequalities and field dynamics as always existed.\n
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  • Big Games and Hipsters: Cool Capital in Pervasive Gaming Festivals

    1. 1. Big Games and HipstersCool Capital in Pervasive Gaming Festivals
    2. 2. who am i_ Dan Dixonsenior lecturer - university of the west of englandresident at pervasive media studiomember of digital cultures research centre_ PhD - Playing with Realityan aesthetic framework for pervasive gamesethnography basedcritical, cultural, practice
    3. 3. what are pervasive games?
    4. 4. contested termAlternate reality games Transmedial gamesAugmented reality games Urban gamesMixed-reality games Street gamesUbiquitous computing games Smart street sportsUbicomp games New sportsLocative games Big gamesGPS games City-wide gamesMobile games Interesting gamesMassively multiplayer mobile games
    5. 5. my project
    6. 6. street/urban gaming festivals
    7. 7. gentrification: the game
    8. 8. hipsters
    9. 9. hipsters and habitus
    10. 10. hipster aesthetic_ referential symbolism, intentionally ironic_ authenticity and difference_ inversions of childhood and adult_ cool as cultural capital
    11. 11. digital hipsters
    12. 12. (digital) hipster aesthetic_ highly referential (but not ironic)_ lo-fi and hand-made aesthetic_ childhood games with adult complexity_ cool gaming as cultural capital
    13. 13. gentrification and irony
    14. 14. thanks for listening

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