Congratulations to Silvia Lindtner on passing her advancement to candidacy exam in the General Track!
Cultivating Cool: Gaming, Networking & Leveling Up in Urban China
With the ubiquity of digital devices computer mediated gaming has become a pervasive aspect of our everyday lives in and between our homes and work, on streets, in malls and public transportation systems. Gaming practices have come to span across and relate a multitude of digital and physical sites that are embedded in larger webs of social connection and politics beyond just fun and leisure. This paper offers a new approach to debates of productive play and serious gaming that considers games in and of themselves a means for practical achievement in day-to-day management of social connection and socio-economic positioning. I present findings from two ethnographic studies that explored gaming sites in urban China where digital and physical scenes collided and became meaningful through the ways in which players positioned themselves and their gaming practices to socio-political narratives of a new and open China. In particular, I focus on two entertainment sites, wang ba (Internet cafe) and exclusive gaming clubs, and the role they played in the daily lives of their inhabitants to discuss implications for game design, and interaction design more broadly.
Paul Dourish (chair)