Urban Play and the Playable City: A Critical Perspective

Frontiers in Computer Science – Special Topic



Call for Submissions



As our planned workshop at DIGRA 2020 was cancelled due to concerns over
the corona virus we have arranged for the publication of an open access
special topic in the journal Frontiers in Computer Science on the theme of
the workshop and are now renewing the call for submissions to additional
authors.



For further information and submission instructions see:

https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/13289/urban-play-and-the-playable-city-a-critical-perspective



*About this Research Topic*

Cities by their very nature are utilitarian creations built to support the
needs and/or represent the image of the communities that build
them.  However, the nature of the urban environment is such that it invites
play in both its construction (architecture) and the interactions that take
place within its confines.  Thus, in addition to opportunities for
structured and unstructured play offered by the playgrounds, ball courts,
and game boards constructed by municipalities, a host of games and playful
activities that repurpose or harness the city infrastructure for play have
emerged.  These range from games such as hide and seek or tag that harness
the physical features of the immediate surroundings of the players either
with the incorporation of interactive technology such as *Picoo*or without,
through games such as *Multiplayer Soba*that build on the concept of a
treasure hunt to challenge players to engage and interact with the local
community in a particular area of a city to games such as *Pokémon Go*and *The
Walking Dead: Our World* that use the entire city as their playground.



Recently the notion of the playable city has emerged as a counterpoint to
the “smart city” where by the array of sensors and actuators that enable
smart city infrastructure can be harnessed to create novel interactions and
playful experiences within the city by lending an ear to trees, giving a
voice to park benches, stairs and garbage cans or reviving the shadows that
pass in the night thereby enabling a host of new interactions and
experiences and raising new challenges and concerns about distraction and
duplicity.



Building on three previous workshops that focused specifically on the
notion of the playable city and that were held as part of Intetain 2016,
Intetain 2017 and ArtsIT 2018, in this workshop we wish to expand the scope
of the inquiry and compare and contrast the notions of urban play and the
playable city while exploring current innovations and the future potential
of the ideas and technologies involved.  To this end we seek to invite
practitioners and researchers to submit position papers which will serve as
the basis for further discussion and analysis with the aim of publishing a
collection of papers in an edited volume or a special issue of a Journal as
a means of furthering the discussion and fostering a long-term relationship
between the participants.  Topics of interest include, but are not limited
to:

·     Play in the city – reimagining the playground and the notion of urban
play

·     Play with (and hack into) the city – incorporating play and
playfulness into the very fabric of the (smart) city

·     Play for the city – using play and gamification to address urban
issues from infrastructure maintenance to social and environmental issues

·     Are we playing with the city or being played with? Critical
perspectives on the notion of the playable city

·     Wearable technology and the (smart) city

·     The autonomous vehicle as a mobile playground or an urban plaything

·     Interactive street art, augmented storytelling and other forms of
urban “play”



*Important Dates*

Abstract Deadline: 30 April 2020

Manuscript Deadline: 30 August 2020



*Editors*

Anton Nijholt, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands

Yoram Chisik, Independent Scholar, Haifa, Israel

Ben Schouten, TU Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Mattia Thibault, University of Tampere, Finland



For further information see:

https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/13289/urban-play-and-the-playable-city-a-critical-perspective

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