The paper aims at reflecting on the potential of digital games to convey meaning, tell stories and, most importantly, become a tool to discover and experience the actual world. Using as a case study the experience of the Urban Histories Reloaded. Creatività videoludica per azioni di cittadinanza (Urban Histories Reloaded. Digital Game Creativity for citizenship actions) project (UHR), we will discuss the role digital games can play in activating territorial processes, by favouring the engagement with the actual world as well as with playful approaches to city living.
In particular, we will focus on the artist residency for game designers, game artists, and game programmers held in Padua between September and October 2020 within the frame of the project and on its main outcome, the mobile game MostaScene. MostaScene consists of a fifteen-minute mobile game set in District 5 Armistizio-Savonarola of Padua. Both its design and its overall content have intertwined with the urban space since the very beginning.
Above all, we will inspect the use of digital games for city-making actions via two different paths: on the one hand, through the involvement of stakeholders (public institutions and specific groups, but also and most importantly citizens) as co-designers; on the other hand, using digital games as non-functional experiences that may encourage innovative interpretations of the urban space for player.
From a theoretical perspective, this research requires us to look at digital games as both fictional worlds that involve imagination and interpretation, as well as digital worlds that are experienced as part of reality in a phenomenological sense. Once this is acknowledged, we can provide an overview of how games can tackle reality and engage with the actual world.
AARSETH, ESPEN J. (1997), Cybertext. Perspectives on Ergodic Literature, London: The Johns Hopkins University Press. https://doi.org/10.56021/9780801855788
APPERLEY, THOMAS H. (2006), Genre and Game Studies: Towards a Critical Approach to Video Game Genres. Simulation and Gaming, 37(1), pp. 6-23. - (2010), Gaming Rhythms: Play and Counterplay from the Situated to the Global. Theory on Demand, 6, pp. 1-170. https://doi.org/10.1177/1046878105282278
ARJORANTA, JONNE (2015), Real-Time Hermeneutics. Meaning-Making in Ludonarrative Digital Games. PhD, University of Jyväskylä. Supervised by: Koskimaa, Raine, and Harviainen, J. Tuomas.
ATELJEVIC, IRENA - PRITCHARD, ANNETTE - NIGEL, MORGAN (eds) (2007), The Critical Turn in Tourism Studies, Amsterdam: Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780080470986
BOGOST, IAN (2007), Persuasive games: The expressive power of videogames, Cambridge: The MIT Press. https://doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/5334.001.0001
BONESIO, LUISA (2007), Paesaggio, identità e comunità tra locale e globale, Reggio Emilia: Diabasis.
CALZADA, IGOR (2016), Smartness for Prosperity: UK & Brazil. Rochester: Social Science Research Network.
CANCELLIERI, ADRIANO - PETERLE, GIADA (2019), Quartieri. Viaggio al centro delle periferie italiane. Padova: Becco Giallo.
CARMOSINO, CINZIA (2013), Il valore del patrimonio culturale fra Italia e Europa. La Convenzione quadro del Consiglio d'Europa sul valore del patrimonio culturale per la società. Aedon. Rivista di Arti e Diritto online, 1, pp. 1-14.
CHALMERS, DAVID J. (2017), The Virtual and the Real. Disputatio, 9(46), pp. 309-352.
CHAPMAN, ADAM (2016), Digital Games as History. How Videogames Represent the Past and Offer Access to Historical Practice. New York: Routledge.
DE WAAL, MARTIJN - DE LANGE, MICHIEL - BOUW, MATTHIJS (2018), The Hackable City Cahier #1 #2 #3. The Hackable City: a Model for Collaborative Citymaking. Amsterdam: The Hackable City. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-2694-3_1
DUBOIS, GIBS (2018), Video game-induced tourism: a new frontier for destination marketers. Tourism Review, 73/2, pp. 186-198. https://doi.org/10.1108/TR-07-2017-0115
EDGELL SR, DAVID L. (2019), Managing Sustainable Tourism: A Legacy for the Future. New York, NY: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429318122
FERRI, GABRIELE - COPPOCK, PATRICK (2013), Serious Urban Games. From play in the city to play for the city. In: Tosoni, Simone - Tarantino, Matteo - Giaccardi, Chiara (eds), Media and the City: Urbanism, Technology and Communication. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholar Publishing.
FERRI, GABRIELE - SALVADOR, MAURO - SCHOUTEN, BEN - VENTURI, IVAN (2017), Memory Must Not Be Lost. "Progetto Ustica" and Civically-Engaged Games. In: CHI PLAY '17 Extended Abstracts: Extended Abstracts Publication of the Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play. New York: Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/3130859.3131434
FLANAGAN, MARY (2009), Critical Play: Radical Game Design. Cambridge: MIT Press.
FLUCK, WINFRIED (1988), Fiction and Fictionality in Popular Culture: Some Observations on the Aesthetics of Popular Culture. The Journal of Popular Culture, 21(4), 49-62. doi:10.1111/j.0022-3840.1988.00049.x
FRISINA, ALESSANDRA - GHEBREMARIAM TESFAU', MAGDA - FRISINA, SALVATORE [n.d.], Decolonize your eyes, Padova. Pratiche visuali di decolonizzazione della città. Roots & Routes. Research on visual Cultures. Available from: https://www.roots-routes.org/decolonize-your-eyes-padova-pratiche-visuali-di-decolonizzazione-della-citta-diannalisa- frisina-mackda-ghebremariam-tesfau-e-salvatore-frisina/ (accessed 22 November 2021).
FOUSEKI, KELLIOPI - GUTTORMSEN, TORGRIM SNEVE - SWENSEN, GRETA (eds) (2020), Heritage and sustainable urban transformations: deep cities. Abingdon: Oxon; New York, NY: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429462894
FRISSEN, VALERIE - LAMMES, SYBILLE - DE LANGE, MICHIEL - DE MUL, JOS - RAESSENS, JOOST (eds) (2015), Playful Identities. The Ludification of Digital Media Cultures. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. https://doi.org/10.1515/9789048523030
FUCHS, MATTHIAS - FIZEK, SONJA - RUFFINO, PAOLO - SCHRAPE, NICHOLAS (eds) (2014), Rethinking Gamification, Luneburg: Meson Press.
GADAMER, HANS-GEORG (1977), Philosophical Hermeneutics, trans. Linge, David E. (ed.), Berkeley: University of California Press.
GADAMER, HANS-GEORG (2006), Classical and Philosophical Hermeneutics. Theory, Culture & Society, 23(1), pp. 29-56. https://doi.org/10.1177/0263276406063228
GOFFMAN, ERVING (1961), Encounters. Two studies in the Sociology of Interaction. Indianapolis: Bobbs Merrill.
GRACE, LINDSAY D. (2020), Love and Electronic Affection. A Design Primer. Boca Raton: CRC Press. https://doi.org/10.1201/9780429429903
GUALENI, STEFANO (2015), Virtual Worlds as Philosophical Tools: How to Philosophize with a Digital Hammer. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137521781
GUALENI, STEFANO - VELLA, DANIEL (2020), Virtual Existentialism: Meaning and Subjectivity in Virtual Worlds, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-38478-4
IDEO (2015), The Field Guide to Human-Centered Design. Ideo.org
JUUL, JASPER (2005), Half-Real: Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds. Cambridge: The MIT Press.
KOENITZ, HARTMUT - FERRI, GABRIELE - HAAHR, MADS - SEZEN, DIĞDEM - SEZEN, TONGUÇ İBRAHIM (eds) (2015), Interactive Digital Narrative. History, Theory and Practice, New York: Routledge.
LARSEN, JONAS - URRY, JOHN (2011). Gazing and Performing. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 29 (6), pp. 1110-1125. https://doi.org/10.1068/d21410
LEORKE, DALE - OWENS, MARCUS (eds) (2020), Games and Play in the Creative, Smart and Ecological City. London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003007760
LICARI, GIUSEPPE (2006), Antropologia Urbana. Il caso dei contratti di quartiere. Padova: Cleup.
MONTELLA, MASSIMO (2016). La Convenzione di Faro e la tradizione culturale italiana. Il capitale culturale, 5, pp. 13-36.
MONTOLA, MARKUS - STENROS, JAKKO - WAERN, ANNIKA (2009), Pervasive Games. Theory and Design. Burlington: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.https://doi.org/10.1201/9780080889795
MOROZOV, EVGENIJ (2013), To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism. New York: PublicAffairs: New York.
PALMER, CATHERINE - TIVERS, JACQUELINE (2019). Creating Heritage for Tourism. Abigon Oxon-New York: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203701881
SCHMID, WOLF (2009), Implied author. In: Hühn, Peter - Pier, John - Schmid, Wolf - Schönert, Jörg (eds), Handbook of Narratology. Berlin: De Gruyter, pp. 161-173.
SCHOUTEN, BEN - FERRI, GABRIELE - DE LANGE, MICHIEL - MILLENAAR, KAREL (2017), Games as Strong Concepts for City-Making. In: Nijholt, Anton (ed.), Playable Cities, Gaming Media and Social Effects. Singapore: Springer.
SHAFFER, DAVID WILLIAMSON (2006), How Computer Games Help Children Learn. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
SMETHURST, TOBY - CRAPS, STEF (2014), Playing with Trauma: Interactivity, Empathy, and Complicity in The Walking Dead Video Game. Games and Culture, 10(3), pp. 269-290.
SUITS, BERNARD (1978), The Grasshopper: Games, Life and Utopia. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
URRY, JOHN (1990), The Tourist Gaze. London: Sage.
URRY, JOHN (1992), The Tourist Gaze Revisited, American Behavioral Scientist, 36 (2), pp. 172-186.
VAN DE MOSSELAER, NELE (2020), The Paradox of Interactive Fiction. A New Approach to Imaginative Participation in Light of Interactive Fiction Experiences. PhD, University of Antwerp. Supervised by: Cools, Arthur, and Myin, Erik.
VAN DE MOSSELAER, NELE - GUALENI, STEFANO (2020), The Implied Designer and the Experience of Gameworlds, Proceedings of the 2020 DiGRA international Conference. Tampere, Finland, June 2-6, 2020.
VARIOUS AUTHORS (2020) MostaScene [mobile game]. Impact Srl, Dipartimento dei Beni Culturali, IVIPRO. Available from: www.urbanhistories.it/il-gioco/ (accessed April 27th, 2021).
VELLA, DANIEL - GUALENI, STEFANO (2018), Virtual Subjectivity: Existence and Projectuality in Virtual Worlds. Techne': Research in Philosophy of Technology, 23(2).
ZHANG, LONGXI (2004), History and fictionality: Insights and limitations of a literary perspective. Rethinking History, 8(3), pp. 387-402.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Copyright (c) 2022 Stefano Caselli, Farah Polato, Mauro Salvador