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


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presentation at the Brunel seminar on games, 2008

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

  1. 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. 2. <ul><li>Ludification of culture (Raessens) </li></ul><ul><li>Fun Revolution : “force the fun into the policy agenda” (Castronova) </li></ul><ul><li>Play: first skill of an education for the 21st century (Jenkins) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Free play” at the core of participatory culture (Jenkins) </li></ul><ul><li>= diffusion of playful practices in non-play environments </li></ul>
  3. 3. Applications in social networks
  4. 4. Applications in social networks
  5. 5. Applications in social networks
  6. 6. <ul><li>What is their role? </li></ul><ul><li>Social lubricant? </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing strategy? </li></ul><ul><li>Are they games? </li></ul>
  7. 7. simulation versus representation <ul><li>Simulations “allow the player to perform actions that will modify the behavior of the system” (Frasca) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Random outcome, no skills, 2-clicks actions, text instead of gameplay
  9. 9. Representation? Performance?
  10. 10. Introducing “Third Places” (R. Oldenburg) <ul><li>“ third place” - separate from home and work </li></ul><ul><li>“ agora of the common man” </li></ul><ul><li>bars, cafes, cantines, beer gardens, taverns </li></ul><ul><li>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 . </li></ul>
  11. 11. Is Facebook a virtual “third place”?
  12. 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. 13. Facebook Applications as “casual fun” <ul><li>Ludus <---> Paidia (play governed by rules versus free play) suspension of disbelief, magic circle, contract, lusory goals </li></ul><ul><li>fun: activity (often with a goal), absorption </li></ul><ul><li>playful mood: no goal, eventually no activity, but it needs a place and a group (a circle) </li></ul><ul><li>Playfulness is social! </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>“ third places”: “frivolity, verbal wordplay, and wit” “human warmth” “being apart together” </li></ul><ul><li>relates to physical dimension </li></ul><ul><li>virtual third places: </li></ul><ul><li>representations of physical actions, instead of physical actions </li></ul><ul><li>performance of play as a symbolic action to create the place’s identity as a “third place” </li></ul>
  15. 15. Conclusions <ul><li>Rise of playful activities (similar to casual games, only even more casual) </li></ul><ul><li>Social networks as “playful spaces”, “playgrounds”, “play areas”, “third places”; playfulness is always social, sociability often involves playfulness </li></ul><ul><li>Playfulness as a parameter in web design, aside usability (Follett) </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Playfulness bridges between digital literacy and non-digital fields (transmedia narratives) ( and casual games/Kuittinen, Kultima et al.) </li></ul><ul><li>And between game literates and traditional “passive” audiences (transmedia storytelling, ARGs, remediation:Penguin 6 Stories) </li></ul><ul><li>The single player/viewer becomes a social player thanks to--- playfulness </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul>Conclusions
  17. 17. Thank you for your attention! Valentina Rao [email_address] www.factorygirl.org