By Carolyn Birdsall (Faculty of Humanities), Wouter van Gent (Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences), Thijs Jeursen (Law, Economics and Governance, Utrecht University).
Digital gaming has become an increasingly important everyday pastime and a leading global cultural industry, with revenues for games now far surpassing that of films. Both the production and consumption of games have a global and an urban dimension: the gaming industry is largely concentrated in globally-connected cities; many widely-distributed digital games feature urban landscapes; and online gamer communities are most active in cities. Digital gaming reconfigures social practices and communities, and is central to the global circulation of specific types of urban imaginaries. Yet, the impact of global digital gaming on imagining and experiencing urban worlds is poorly understood. To understand how globally-produced and globally-consumed digital urban worlds shape social communities and cultural practices, this research develops an interdisciplinary methodological approach and innovative conceptual apparatus to “playing the city”.