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Grell Rau Kosubski ICA 2018 Game Study Ingress

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May 24 2018, ICA Game Studies Division Pre-Conference "Games Everywhere, Gaming Everywhere", Prague

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Grell Rau Kosubski ICA 2018 Game Study Ingress

  1. 1. 24th May 2018 | TU Darmstadt | Faculty of Human Sciences | Media Education | Prof. Dr. Petra Grell Petra Grell, Franco Rau, Ilaria Kosubski Adults Playing Outside in the City. Ingress- Gamers’ Views on Themselves, Others and the Cultural Space . ICA Game Studies Division Pre-Conference, Prague, 24 May 2018
  2. 2. 1 2 3 The Game Research Design Findings & Discussion 2
  3. 3. The Game Ingress Logo of Ingress (by Niantic ingress.com) 3 Genre Location based augmented reality game, massively multiplayer online game pervasive game, Device Smartphone or Tablet Release Nov. 2012 (closed beta), Dec. 2013 (Android), July 2014 (iOS) Developer Niantic/Google Downloads 10.000.000-50.000.000 (Google Playstore, Dec. 2017)
  4. 4. The Game Ingress Story: Scientists discover, that earth had been seeded with alien “Exotic Matter” (XM). Opinions differ: Is it a threat or does it enhance humanity? Goal: The aim is to control the worldwide existing XM for the own faction: “Enlightened” or “Resistance”. Therefore it is necessary to capture "portals" (places of cultural significance) and to link them in order to create triangular "control fields" over geographic areas. Gameplay: Location-based interaction only. You physically have to walk around to play the game. Moreover collaboration is a key factor, e.g. a high- level portal demands items of 8 different players. 4
  5. 5. The Game Ingress Gameplay: Individuals and groups are walking/traveling around, using their mobile device to scan the environment and interact with portals. Strategy: Online tools (e.g. maps, stats) can help to plan game activities Communication: chat-interface (in-game), mostly other group channels (e.g. hangouts) Communities: Self-organised local, regional and worldwide groups (invisible to non-members) 5
  6. 6. 6 2 Research Design Qualitative Research Grounded Theory
  7. 7. Research Questions 1. In which way is playing Ingress meaningful or significant for adults? 2. In which way does playing Ingress transform players’ perspective on public space? • Focus of this presentation: What kind of meaningful interaction with others, mediated through the game, do players describe/reflect? 7
  8. 8. Research Design & Methods 8 Ethnographic experience (March – Nov. 2015) Interview study (started in January 2016) Interface analysis (started in June 2016) • Data collection: Episodic Interviews (Flick, 2000) • 12 players: 5 female, 7 male • age: 20 – mid 40 • Jan. 11th – Mar. 4th, 2016 • Analysis: Grounded Theory based coding (Glaser & Strauss, 1967)
  9. 9. 9 3 Findings & Discussion 1. Description of meaningful interactions • e.g.: Episodes of social interaction; attitudes towards social interaction; appraisal of interactions 2. Description of transitions or transformations • e.g.: Change of interest; novice – expert transformation
  10. 10. 1. Meaningful Interaction: “Encounter/Recognition” 10 “It’s me!” – A pleasant experience of getting noticed, being addressed, being recognised, as a player or as an individual “and then actually somebody asked: ‘Wait, is that you? Weren’t you the one who cycled at night in [remote area]?’ (…) that is the reason why this was such a highlight. In a way it leaves a deep impression because it comes up again.” (#2, 130-132) “It was nice how they all extended a warm welcome to me.” (#3, 59) “they seriously wanted me to change to the [other faction] (…) and they do not leave you out in the rain. A lot of people were involved” (#12, 106)
  11. 11. “Others” – A pleasant / fascinating experience to get to know people easily, like-minded people and people beyond expectations “playing virtual games, usually you won’t get to know most of the others personally. But now you are playing a game, in which it is effectively inevitable to be face-to- face to other players. That is fascinating.” (#8, 19) “you are meeting other crazy people, who are as crazy as you are and you meet them at 8 p.m. to go out to play” (#2, 255) “I have played with very young kids and with very old people and this is - I believe - something truly special. To me it is awesome. Simply this enormous variety.” (#4, 47) 1. Meaningful Interaction: “Getting to know people” 11
  12. 12. “Players becoming friends” – Playing Ingress led to the development of friendships “Significant element in existing relationships” – Playing became a nucleus of crystallisation in partnerships 12 2. Process: Transformation of friends and relationship “[…] and in no time at all I made new friends” (#6, 21) “And based on that [community building] we became real friends, out of being totally strangers” (#10, 13) “The game reinforced our relationship. (…) Finding a hobby in which we are both engaged in was definitely good for our relationship.” (#8, 19) “[…] we do have a babysitter once a week, in order to play Ingress together” (#1, 40)
  13. 13. “Joint Activities with and beyond Ingress” – Activities start within Ingress and evolve 13 2. Process: Transformation of friendships and activities „we [2 Ingress players] were walking through [location / neighbourhood] and in the end we are five people hanging out in a pub drinking [local wine]. That moment was quite impressive for me.” (#5, 23) „and then we decided to do a weekend trip to [location at the sea] and do Unique- Captures. I enjoyed this possibility to go on vacation together” (#12, 77) „now we have a group of players having board game nights, Ingress players and former Ingress players, actually many who stopped playing Ingress, but who are still involved in game nights“ (#2, 35)
  14. 14. Enrichment of social life “Me and we” 14 “the social aspect is important to me. (…) as a way to meet new people. Now I do have a circle of friends, I don't need to play Ingress anymore. I think we could stay in touch without playing.” (#12, 62) “a quarter of my social life is based on Ingress.” (#8, 23) “if you reflect yourself, at night, 1 a.m., I am on a stroll, with completely strange men, the only female, and at home husband and child (…) that’s funny, beyond role expectations” (#1, 78) Using the game as a (temporary or constant) opportunity to enrich social life Using the game to be a bit nerdy
  15. 15. „Layered Reality“ and complex transformative learning („Bildung“) „Layered Reality“ Reflections about the Game Reflections about Oneself Sense of Community Reflections about Others Space appropriation Space Social „It‘s me“ Encounter Transformation
  16. 16. Petra Grell @PGrell (Twitter) http://de.slideshare.net/Pgrell p.grell@apaed.tu-darmstadt.de 16 Thank you! Water Fountain, Darmstadt CC-by-nc-sa Grell & Rau Aug. 12, 2016 Franco Rau @FrancoRau (Twitter) http://de.slideshare.net/FrancoRau/ f.rau@apaed.tu-darmstadt.de Ilaria Kosubski ilaria.kosubski@stud.tu- darmstadt.de
  17. 17. References Chess, Shira (2014): Augmented Regionalism: Ingress as Geomediated Gaming Narrative. In: Information, Communication & Society. Volume 17, Issue 9, p. 1105-1117. Domahidi, Emese ; Festl, Ruth & Quandt, Thorsten (2014): To dwell among gamers: Investigating the relationship between social online game use and gaming-related friendships. In: Computers in Human Behavior 35 (2014) pp. 107–115. Flick, U. (2000). Episodic Interviewing. In: M.W. Bauer & G. Gaskell (Eds.), Qualitative Researching with Text, Image and Sound (pp. 75-92). London: Sage. Glaser, B. & Strauss, A.(1967): The Discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research. Chicago: Aldine Hodson H. (2012): Google's Ingress game is a gold mine for augmented reality, New Scientist, Vol. 216. 19. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0262-4079(12)63058-9 Kasapakis, V. & Gavalas, D. (2015): Pervasive Gaming: Status, Trends and Design Principles. Journal of Network and Computer Applications. Vol. 55, pp. 213-236. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jnca.2015.05.009 Majorek, M. & Du Vall, M. (2015): Ingress: An Example of a New Dimension in Entertainment . In: Games and Culture. 1-23. DOI: 10.1177/1555412015575833 Manwaring, K. & Clarke R. (2015): Surfing the third wave of computing: A framework for research into eObjects. In: Computer Law & Security Review, Vol. 31, pp. 586-603. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clsr.2015.07.001. Morschheuser, B.; Riar, M.; Hamari, J.; Maedche, A. (2017): How games induce cooperation? A study on the relationship between game features an we-intentions in an augmented reality game. In: Computer in Human Behavior 77 (2017) 169-183. Reinhardt, D. & Heinig, C. (2016): Survey-based exploration of attitudes to participatory sensing task in location- based gaming communities. In: Pervasive and Mobile Computing. 27-36. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pmcj.2016.01.001 Stingeder, K.H. (2013): Googles Augmented-Reality-Game "Ingress". In: Medienimpulse, 4/2013. http://www.medienimpulse.at/articles/view/600 17
  18. 18. A way to get to know a city „However in some way, you get to know the city from a different perspective, you pay attention to things you haven‘t seen before, or you give thought to a monument, that you have passed by ten times, but have never ever realized it is there. (#8, 42) Also man lernt ja trotzdem irgendwie, ähm, die Stadt auch von einer anderen Seite kennen, so achtet auf Dinge, die man vorher gar nicht gesehen hat, oder macht sich auch Gedanken über, über ein Denkmal, wo man vorher schon zehn Mal dran vorbei gelaufen ist, aber dieses Denkmal (I2: Ja.) nie irgendwie so, so auf dem Schirm hatte“ (#8, 42). „To get to know a city, by a phone, to get to know it through the game, that is absolutely crazy for other people.“ (#8, 4) Genau, und jetzt so eine Stadt halt von einem Telefon, also von, über das Spiel kennenzulernen, ist vollkommen verrückt für andere.“ (#8, 4). Appropriation of Space Get to know a city Portals are meaningful Responsibility for places
  19. 19. Ingress Pokémon Go Genre Location based augmented reality game, massively multiplayer online game, Pervasive Game, Entwickler Niantic / (Google) Release Nov. 2012 (closed beta), Dec. 2013 (Android), July 2014 (iOS) June 2016 Downloads 10.000.000-50.000.000 (Google Playstore, December 2017) 750.000.000 (Niantic 2018) Ingress & PokémonGo
  20. 20. State of Research (at the start of project in 2015) 20 Focus of articles/Focus of inquiry Authors General perspective, Viewpoints Presentation/Description of Ingress as an augmented reality game Hodson (2012); Stingeder (2013) Game Studies Storytelling and narrative of Ingress / game characteristics Chess (2014); Majorek, M. & Du Vall, M. (2015) Applied Computer science Analysis of specific applications or design principles* Kasapakis & Gavalas (2015); Manwaring & Clarke (2015); Reinhardt & Heinig (2016) Social Science Social Online Gaming, game related ties and friendship** Domahidi, Festl & Quandt (2014) * Ingress as an example ** Ingress mentioned within the outlook
  21. 21. Methods – Interview 1. Interest & becoming a part / getting into it • e.g. Could you share your experiences in the beginning of playing? 2. Me-Game-Other • e.g.: Have you had some special/thrilling experiences with Ingress or Ingress players? 3. Me-Game-Public Space • e.g.: Do the real-world-objects, that are portals, mean something to you? 4. Resume/In a nutshell • What is the most important thing, in just a few words? 21

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