Chek-in everywhere. Places, people, narrations, games
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In this work we will analyze a corpus of products that are first of all hard to describe. To do so, we will start from the idea of magic circle, an extremely relevant concept among game theorists, and from all those location-based and pervasive practices that these objects generate. Each one of these notions is borrowed from different currents of game studies and media studies and, together, they will be used to better identify our case studies. After setting-up this theoretical introduction, we will proceed presenting three different virtual layers – the game layer, the social layer and the narrative layer – from which we will build a model to test four case studies. SCVNGR, Foursquare and Broadcastr are mobile applications that, despite their similar appearances involving territorial exploration and user generated contents (texts, photos, audio recording), differ in the ways their users deal with them. The fourth case, Whai Whai is instead both a guidebook and a mobile application by which it is possible to discover the secrets of a city; a rather peculiar interactive guide capable of pushing and motivating its reader to explore the surrounding space.
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