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Third places aoir 12

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Presentation for AoIR 12 on Third Places at LAN parties

Presentation for AoIR 12 on Third Places at LAN parties

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  • 1. LAN Parties: Third Place or Third Rate???
    Bryan-Mitchell Young
    Indiana University
    @jccalhoun
  • 2.
  • 3. Third Places
    “Havens of sociability where conversation is the main activity and conviviality prevails”
    “Care for the Neighborhood”
    “Foster Political Debate”
  • 4. Games like gin rummy, cribbage, or dominoes can be part of a third place when “the game and conversation move along in lively fashion, the talk enhancing the card game, the card game giving eternal stimulation to the talk”
  • 5. “Not all games stimulate conversation and kibitzing; hence, not all games complement third place association. A room full of individuals intent upon video games is not a third place”
    (emphasis mine)
  • 6. “I have objected to the common idea these days that there can be virtual third places, that you can do it electronically. There is no comparison, in my mind, between the joys of getting together, of the face-to-face enjoyment and banter. You can’t really compare that with electronic [social networking].” (brackets in original)
    -- http://www.jwtintelligence.com/2011/01/qa-ray-oldenburg-author-professor-emeritus/
  • 7.
  • 8. Characteristics of a Third Place
    a leveler
    on neutral ground
    a playful mood
    accessible and accommodating
    Regulars
    a low profile
    a home away from home
    the main activity is conversation
  • 9. Characteristics of a Third Place
    a leveler
    on neutral ground
    a playful mood
    accessible and accommodating
    Regulars
    a low profile
    a home away from home
    the main activity is conversation
  • 10. Purposes of a Third Place
    unite the neighborhood
    help newcomers “assimilate” into the new neighborhood and “often serve to bring together for the first time, people who will create other forms of association later on,”
    allows people to work together and “cooperate with one another to do things which individuals cannot do alone,”
    a staging area in times “of local crisis,”
  • 11. Purposes of a Third Place
    provide “public characters” who “know everybody in the neighborhood and who care about the neighborhood,”
    bringing youth and adults together in relaxed enjoyment
    entertainment
    political forum
    intellectual form
    as “offices” where neither party is on “his or her ‘home ground’ but in some neutral corner”
  • 12. Sociability…
    …is both connected to "real life” and disconnected from it
    …features a certain de-personalization of participants
    …depends on cooperation and tact
    …is promoted by social equality
  • 13. What’s missing?
    Conversation
    Sociability is not about conversation but interacting
  • 14. Oldenburg is overlooking the other aspects of sociability
    LAN parties create the feeling of a third place without relying on conversation as the main activity
    Excluding LAN parties because of this is inconsistent with the spirit of sociability that Oldenburg asserts is the heart of third places.
  • 15. Oldenburg is valorizing an ideal
    Even the very places that he cites as exemplars of third places are not as exemplary as he makes them out to be
    What about the employees?
    What about the people who aren’t allowed in?
    Third Places are not real
    They are an idea

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