Lessor-known Worlds: Bridging the Telematic Flows with Located Human Experience Through Game Design.

Debra Polson
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When institutions become involved with the planning of new urban spaces, it is obligatory that these spaces become players in the world of global information flows in the form of 'intelligent buildings' and 'smart offices'. As a result, the places in which we humans find ourselves are becoming parallel infrastructures of both the 'telematic' [Graham and Marvin, 1996] and urban 'spaces of flow' [Castells, 1998]. The first giving rise to the improved processing and circulation of information, services, communication and exchange, and the second is the site of human experience of place and the social interaction and construction of identities by groups and individuals [Zukin, 1995]. Given the increasing potential for building global networks, what are the opportunities that now exist for the local stakeholders? Who are they, and what are their actual levels of access and agency within these nodes and flows? 'Scoot' is a location-based game designed for the new "Creative Industries Precinct" in Brisbane, Australia. The game attempts to bridge these parallel worlds and exploit them in an effort to reveal and make richer the social, cultural and economical transactions in an urban place. This paper describes the processes and various collaborations involved in the development and delivery of the game. It also describes the game's impact on the site through the analysis of the emerging narratives of the players and other stakeholders.

Keywords: Game Design, Urban Design, Technology, Interaction, Narrative
Stream: Technology in Community
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Debra Polson

Lecturer, Communication Design, Queensland University of Technology

Debra has worked as an interface designer on multiple interactive children's games and continues to design location-based games (mixed-media experiences) funded by ACID, QUT, the Australian Center for the Moving Image, Federation Square, and both the Brisbane and Melbourne City Councils. These projects are designed for various sites in Australia, including 'SCOOT' in Brisbane (May 2004), New Castle (Sept. 2004) and Melbourne (Feb. 2005) and the 'Cipher Valley' project also in Brisbane. Her research interests lie in new immersive forms of game play that blur the edges between the digital and physical realms with a particular focus on the community interactions that emerge from these experiences and the potential for new multi-modal forms of entertainment and education within those communities. Previously, Debra designed new media course material and lectured at the University of South Australia (1995-1998) and at the Lasalle International College in Beijing (1999-2001).

Ref: T05P0037