Open Conference Systems, Catac 2016

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LUDIC RE-ENCHANTMENT AND THE POWER OF LOCATIVE GAMES: A CASE STUDY OF THE GAME INGRESS
Suely Fragoso, Breno Maciel Souza Reis

Last modified: 2016-06-11

Abstract


Games can promote a powerful form of reversal of the Weberian disenchantment of the modern world, which we refer to as "ludic re-enchantment". In this article, we present the notion of ludic re-enchantment and situate it in relation to other forms of re-enchantment, proposed by previous authors. Ludic re-enchantment is particularly powerful in locative games, which affect the experience of urban life both with respect to the associations between the inhabitants of the city and with respect to their relationship with urban materialities. These claims are exemplified with an ethnographically inspired study of the game Ingress in the city of Porto Alegre, Brazil. The double composition of gameplay and narrative of Ingress is shown to interlace with urban life in a variety of ways. The strength of ludic reenchantment by locative games is confirmed and demonstrated to be modified according to the characteristics of Ingress narrative and gameplay. Although play always results in some degree of ludic re-enchantment, the meanings deriving from that re-enchantment vary depending on the attributes of the game.


Keywords


locative games, reenchantment, urbanism

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