Global gaming networks are heterogenous collectives of localized practices, not unified commercial products. Shifting the analysis of digital games to local specificities that build and perform the global and general, Gaming Rhythms employs ethnographic work conducted in Venezuela and Australia to account for the material experiences of actual game players.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Mobile Media

Stayed up late last night writing this abstract for the Mobile Media conference in Sydney next year. Was pretty interesting doing the research. Mobile gaming has a whole lot of interesting issues... ...and its pretty obvious that those who have waxing lyrical about this in various forums I have attended have just read 'Smart Mobs'.

Anyway I found the summary of the issues by Mark Finn in AJETS to be pretty sweet, and Aphra Kerr's book had some good stats, I'll have to get around to reading it soon.

Here is the abstract (its over 100 words too long :$) :

Games without Borders: Globalization, Gaming and Mobility in Venezuela

Using fieldwork data from ethnographic research conducted between March and July 2005, this paper will examine the impact of mobile games on the videogames industry and audiences in Caracas, Venezuela. I will argue that mobile games represent a tactic through which Venezuelan game developers can create content This dovetails with the Venezuelan markets’ readiness for mobile games due to the already largely public context of gaming, which means that the conceptual shift that other videogame markets face with the development of the mobile game sector will be ameliorated.

Kerr and Flynn (2003) argue that the structure of the global videogames industry is such that it potentially prohibits many small countries from developing this sector. Lugo et. al. (2002), underscore the unevenness of the development of the videogames industry, noting that while Latin America lacked a significant stake in the development of software, it was significantly the location of the production of many Xboxes in Mexican maquiladoras. While the people of Venezuela – in this case – are able to participate in the global culture of videogames, they relied on content produced elsewhere (the North). Finn (2005) and Kerr (2006) both note that mobile games create a significant intervention in the industry model for videogame production and distribution, both in terms of the cost and time associated with production, and in terms of controls and restrictions based on licensing and distribution. Potentially, this sector offers countries excluded from producing game content an opportunity to foster local talent and creativity.

Hall (2005) describes the impact that mobile gaming has had on videogame content. Play takes place within a particular context defined by time and space, the stability of this model is challenged by mobile games, which can be played in numerous contexts. Further to Hall’s understanding of context I will argue, based on my own experiences and observations, that culture and social bonds have a particular impact on context. Content, as in the type of game played has a strong correlation to these contexts. Particular contexts suit particular games (content), and vice versa, this explaining the ubiquity of certain games in Venezuela. Hall and Finn both point to the shift of videogames to the public sphere is the central contextual innovation of mobile gaming. This paper will argue that cultural context like that of Venezuela –where a considerable portion of videogaming takes place in public spaces already – is ready to be receptive of mobile games.

No comments:

About Me

This blog started as a PhD blog, for my project 'Global Rhythms: Video games and the Transformation of Play'. It finally become a book. This is a "historic" record of the trials a tribulations.