"A completely innovative aspect is the agenda of analyzing media and citizenship in contemporary culture through the lens of play. Media studies, game studies, and cultural studies will benefit from this, as will political practice." - Mathias Fuchs, principal investigator at the Centre for Digital Cultures at Leuphana University Lüneburg, editor of Rethinking Gamification
"What a splendid edited collection, a thoughtful and well-researched anthology that both summarizes the state of the art at the intersection between play and political theories, and presents insights on future lines of research." - Miguel Sicart, professor at the IT University of Copenhagen, author of Play Matters
In the last decade, digital media technologies and developments have given rise to exciting new forms of ludic, or playful, engagements of citizens in cultural and societal issues. From the Occupy movement to playful city-making to the gameful designs of the Obama 2008 and Trump 2016 presidential campaigns, and the rise of citizen science and ecological games, this book shows how play is a key theoretical, methodological, and practical principle for comprehending such new forms of civic engagement in a mediatized culture.
The Playful Citizen explores how and through what media we are becoming more playful as citizens and how this manifests itself in our ways of doing, living, and thinking. We offer a pluralistic answer to such questions by bringing together scholars from different fields such as game and play studies, social sciences, and media and culture studies.
René Glas is Assistant Professor of New Media and Digital Culture in the Department of Media and Culture Studies at Utrecht University. With a background in film and new media studies, his primary field is game studies, in which he teaches and writes about a variety of topics including game history and culture, game and play-related literacy issues, fan and participatory culture, cheating and other forms of deviant play, serious and pervasive games, and media comparison. Glas is a founding member of Utrecht University's Center for the Study of Digital Games and Play. His book Battlefields of Negotiation: Control, Agency, and Ownership in World of Warcraft (2012) was published by Amsterdam University Press.
Sybille Lammes is Full Professor of New Media and Digital Culture at The Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS) at Leiden University. She has been a visiting Senior Research Fellow at The University of Manchester, and has worked as a researcher at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies at the University of Warwick, as well as the media studies departments of Utrecht University and the University of Amsterdam. Her background is in media studies and play studies, which she has always approached from an interdisciplinary angle, including cultural studies, science and technology studies, postcolonial studies, and critical geography. She is co-editor of Playful identities: The ludification of digital media cultures (Amsterdam University Press 2015), Mapping time (Manchester University Press 2018; forthcoming) and The Routledge handbook of interdisciplinary research methods (Routledge 2018; forthcoming). She is an ERC laureate and has been the PI of numerous research projects.
Michiel de Lange is Assistant Professor of New Media and Digital Culture in the Department of Media and Culture Studies at Utrecht University. He is co-founder of The Mobile City, a platform for the study of new media and urbanism, an advisor of E-Culture at Mediafonds, and works as a researcher in the field of (mobile) media, urban culture, identity and play. He is a researcher in the NWO Creative Industries funded project The Hackable City, about the ways digital media shape the future of city making.
Joost Raessens is chair and Full Professor of Media Theory at Utrecht University, The Netherlands, and scientific director of the Utrecht Center for Game Research (gameresearch.nl). His research concerns the 'ludification of culture,' focusing on games for change in relation to global climate change and refugee and migration issues. Raessens was conference chair of the first DiGRA conference Level Up in Utrecht (digra2003.org) and leads the research project "Persuasive gaming: From theory-based design to validation and back" (persuasivegaming.nl). Along his book publications (see raessens.nl for a complete overview) are the Handbook of computer games studies (The MIT Press 2005), Homo ludens 2.0: The ludic turn in media theory (Utrecht University 2012), and Playful identities: The ludification of digital media cultures (Amsterdam University Press 2015).
Imar de Vries is Assistant Professor of New Media and Digital Culture in the Department of Media and Culture Studies at Utrecht University. His work primarily focuses on studying innovation discourses of wireless technologies, social media, and augmented reality. He obtained his PhD in 2008 with a media-archaeological and -philosophical study of how mobile phones developed to become quintessential personal communication tools, and he subsequently published on the subject in the book Tantalisingly close: An archaeology of communication desires in discourses of mobile wireless media (Amsterdam University Press 2012). He also published on mobile ringtones and identity performances, selfie culture, and archives in the digital age. De Vries is a member of the board of Media Lab IMPAKT and affiliated with Media Lab SETUP.