Gamifying Urban Space: Smart Technologies and New Urban Experience

Authors: I-Chun Catherine Chang*, Macalester College
Topics: Urban Geography, Asia
Keywords: location-based games, smart technologies, urban experience, Tainan, Twin Cities
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Oakley, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Gamifying urban spaces has become a new way for people to experience cities. Location-based games, often facilitated by smart technologies, guide residents and tourists through narratives and stories that enable them to explore cities with fresh perspectives. Beyond the individual experiences, these games also generate distinct challenges for urban spatial governance and facilitate otherwise unlikely social encounters. As a first step to broadly assess how gamifying urban spaces affects urban experiences, this paper draws on observations and interviews in studying two game settings: Pokémon Go, an augmented reality game using mobile devices, in the Twin Cities in the United States, and a narrated wide game in the historical city Tainan in Taiwan. Research on these different types of location-based games offers urban scholars an individualized, bottom-up perspective to understand smart urbanization.

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