Hybrid Reality and Location-Based Gaming

de Souza e Silva, A. (2009). Hybrid Reality and Location-Based Gaming: Redefining mobility and game spaces in urban environmentsSimulation & Gaming, 40 (3), 404-424. DOI: 10.1177/1046878108314643.

Abstract: Hybrid reality games and location-based mobile games use urban spaces as the game scenario and are played with the aid of mobile technologies equipped with location awareness and Internet connection. This article conceptualizes hybrid reality and location-based mobile games within the area of game studies via their three main characteristics: mobility, sociability, and spatiality. In addition, the article proposes a theoretical framework for studying these games focusing on the possible implications of transforming urban spaces in playful environments. Last, one location-based mobile game, BOTFIGHTERS, and one hybrid reality game, CAN YOU SEE ME NOW? are used as examples of how these games (a) create a new logic of game space, (b) transform the relationship between serious life and playful spaces, and (c) transform the perception of urban spaces and patterns of mobility through the city.