GAYME: An Auto-Ethnographic, Documentary Game about “Quarely” Navigating Pedestrian Spaces
In this article, the authors explore the intersections of gamification, urban cityscapes, and gay culture through a discussion of GAYME, a transmedia documentary game set in Orlando, Florida, that was featured in the 2014 Different Games arcade in Brooklyn, New York. GAYME uses the lens of gamification to demonstrate the potential of game design and geo-social, photo-sharing applications to illuminate new ways of documenting and witnessing the urban landscapes that we collectively and uniquely inhabit.
List of keywords:
Documentary game, social media, hashtag, geo-social photography, queer, gay
Cultural Heritage & Arts, Urban Studies, Education.
GAYME and @deadquarewalking consider the importance of continuously revising what it means to publicly define oneself through geo-social media in emergent and meaningful co-present ways amidst a growing mass culture of physical and virtual normativity. Co-present, mobile games-as-art help strike a balance between the queer/quare innovations of Alan Turing and Dani Bunten Berry while also heeding Douglas Harrison’s concerns of the erosion of real-world LGBTQ+ culture, activism, and connectedness—whether via a bus ride, an Instagram photograph, or meeting friends face-to-face. Thus @deadquarewalking’s primary function is to challenge “the lonely crowd,” challenge normativity, and create new ways of embodiment, expression and sociability through gamification of urban space.
Breen, M, (2012), Gayest cities in America, http://news.advocate.com/post/15571734525/gayest-cities-in-america-2012 [retrieved 05.20.2014].
Grosskopf, N. A., LeVasseur, M. T., et al. (2014), “Use of the Internet and mobile-based “apps” for sex-seeking among men who have sex with men in New York City,” American Journal of Men’s Health, in press (doi: 10.1177/1557988314527311)
Gudelunas, D, “There’s an app for that: the uses and gratifications of online social networks for gay men,” Sexuality & Culture, Vol. 16, No. 4, (2012), pp. 347-365.
Hjorth, L., “Mobile@Game cultures: The place of urban mobile gaming.” Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, Vol. 17, No. 4, 2011, pp. 357-371.
Rice, E., Holloway, I., et al., (2012), “Sex risk among young men who have sex with men who use Grindr, a smartphone geosocial networking application,” Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research, Vol. 3, 2012, pp. 1-8.
Transportation for America, (2011), Dangerous by Design: Solving the Epidemic of Preventable Pedestrian Deaths http://www.smartgrowthamerica.org/documents/dangerous-by-design-2011.pdf [retrieved 05.20.2014].
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Wilson, J., et al., “Distractedly engaged: Mobile gaming and convergent mobile media,” Convergence: The Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, Vol. 17, No. 4., 2011, pp. 351-355.
Authors’ current affiliations and short bios:
David Moran, University of Central Florida, Dmoran@knights.ucf.edu
David Thomas Moran is a writer, street photographer, game designer and digital media artist/scholar. His creative work mostly focuses on public, street life, pedestrianism and community mobility throughout the Orlando metropolitan region. David’s phone photography was recently featured by The Orlandoan blog in a photo essay titled “Orlando Days+Nights.” He is a participating artist and the Operations Director for the Transit Interpretation Project (TrIP).
Stephanie Vie, University of Central Florida, Stephanie.Vie@ucf.edu
Stephanie Vie is an Associate Professor of Writing and Rhetoric at the University of Central Florida. She researches the construction of digital identities in social media spaces. Her research has appeared in First Monday; Computers and Composition; Computers and Composition Online; Kairos: Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy; and The Community Literacy Journal. She is a Reviews Section Co-editor with Kairos and a Project Director with the Computers and Composition Digital Press.
J. Michael Moshell, University of Central Florida, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Moshell is a Professor Emeritus of Digital Media in the School of Visual Arts and Design at the University of Central Florida, and a Research Affiliate of UCF’s Institute for Simulation and Training. His work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, U. S. Army, Navy and DARPA. His research concerns the use of media and virtual environments for learning. He served as founding Director of UCF’s Digital Media Program and the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy.
 In Irish culture, “quare” can mean “very” or “extremely” or it can be a spelling of the rural or Southern pronunciation of the word “queer.” Cultural theorist E. Patrick Johnson (2001) also argues for “quareness” as a way to question the subjective bias of whiteness in queer studies that risks discounting the lived experiences and material realities of people of color. Thus “quareness” has an important critical application for considering how urban design in the United States South is intersectionally racialized, gendered and classed.
Below is the original call for papers:
Screencity Journal #5 – Out in October 2014
Peer reviewed journal
PLAYING LIFE: GAMIFICATION BEYOND GAMING
Emanuela Zilio, Matteo Bittanti ed.
Screencity Journal #5 aims to support policy makers and private investors in understanding the economic importance of videogames and gamification approaches in relation to such fields as Cultural Heritage & Arts, Science, Communication, Entertainment, Urban Studies, Health, Learning and Education.
Scholars, designers, players, and artists are invited to participate in PLAYING LIFE: GAMIFICATION BEYOND GAMING, a special issue of Screencity Journal entirely dedicated to the the topic of gamification, i.e. “the use of game design elements or game mechanics in non game contexts”.
We are looking for proposals that critically and playfully engage with gamification, a notion whose popularity has transcended the academic sphere thanks to a series of publications, workshops, conferences, and events throughout the United States and Europe. Currently, several contrasting concepts of gamification coexist – and frequently clash – within multiple conversations, contexts, and discourses. Seen as a marketing tool by some, gamification has often been dismissed and/or criticized by scholars. At the same time, others have highlighted its potential to enrich and augment various cultural, creative, political, pedagogical, and artistic practices.
PLAYING LIFE: GAMIFICATION BEYOND GAMING will critically address several questions raised by gamification, especially its ethical, political, ideological, educational, and aesthetic implications. How can gamification question existing structures and conditions of inequality, disparity, and injustice? What does it mean to live in a “gamified” society? What does such world look like? Is it utopian or dystopian?
THEMES AND TOPICS
Screencity Journal #5 will examine multiple themes related to gamification in relation to Cultural Heritage & Arts, Science, Communication, Entertainment, Health and Learning.
Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
- Critical literature reviews of gamification (for example, the rhetoric and discourses surrounding gamification, historical precedents, ideological and functional frameworks, etc.);
- Gamification between labor and play, commodification and exploitation, surveillance and sousveillance;
- Gamification and economic theory;
- Gamification and political science;
- Gamification and Game Art: appropriations, subversions, and interventions, from hacking to modding, from performances to happenings;
- Gamification and ethics;
- The potential of gamification for research and learning (gamification as a training tool, conceptual framework, form of pedagogy etc.);
- The uses of gamification in health-related contexts;
- Gamification in marketing, communication, and media.
Authors are invited to address the ethical, political, social, ludic, and artistic aspects of gamification; critically engage with the scholarly literature on the topic; be familiar with the history and evolution of this practice; examine or discuss case studies; and suggest possible strategies to develop and apply gamification for projects related to Cultural Heritage & Arts, Science, Communication, Entertainment, Urban Studies, Health, Learning and Education.
One of the purposes of Screencity Journal #5 is to provide a critical overview of key case studies, best practices, and gamification strategies that have been applied or could be used in the future by policy makers and entrepreneurs as well as scholars and institutions. The editors are also looking for possible implementation plans of gamification project specifically conceived and designed for the Italian context.