Title: Understanding urban gamification - playful meaning-making in real and digital city spaces

Authors: Mattia Thibault

Addresses: Tampere University, Kalevantie 4, 33100 Tampere, Finland

Abstract: This paper offers a semiotic perspective on how play is used to change the citizens' perception of the city. The paper adopts a meaning-centred approach to playfulness (a resemantisation of the surrounding environment) and to urban spaces (complex meaning-making machines). It investigates the different ways citizens can reclaim their right to the city by writing or enunciating it and the role played by play in these dynamics in the context of a ludicising culture. After engaging a few examples of urban gamification [such as flash mobs and park(ing) day] the paper also engages the digital representations of the city and how also this dimension of the urban spaces is subject to forms of gamification.

Keywords: urban play; gamification; semiotics; park(ing) day; flash mobs; playable cities; DIY urbanism; right to the city; urban games; pride parades; cities.

DOI: 10.1504/IJART.2020.107700

International Journal of Arts and Technology, 2020 Vol.12 No.1, pp.3 - 17

Received: 01 May 2019
Accepted: 31 Jan 2020

Published online: 03 Jun 2020 *

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