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Charting the Ludodrome: the mediation of urban and simulated space and rise of the flâneur electronique


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Atkinson, RG and Willis, PB 2007 , 'Charting the Ludodrome: the mediation of urban and simulated space and rise of the flâneur electronique' , Information, Communication & Society, vol. 10, no. 6 , pp. 818-845 , doi: 10.1080/13691180701751007.

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Urban spaces have become blended even more seamlessly with their portrayal.
Such representations are generated via a broad range of media which both influence
and sculpt our sense of their constitution so that our sense of what the urban
‘is’ is inflected by a range of interpretations, atmospheres, inherited viewpoints,
dialogues and scenarios derived from these media. In this paper this interpretive
skew is looked at as generated through intense video gaming activity and from a
particular simulated urban context, the city of the game Grand Theft Auto 3:
Liberty City. The objective is to conceptualize the linkages between gamers’
apprehension of the relative realism of this in-game environment and its influence
on their experience of traversing ‘real’ urban environments. The authors suggest
the notions of slipped and segued viewpoints as a means of understanding the
differential degrees to which real and artificial interactive representations,
based around violence, gang ecologies and dystopian urban space, bleed unevenly
into the everyday urban life of these players. This sense of space appears to
influence perceptions of risk, the navigation of urban space, and received understandings
of social ecologies and stereotypes which overlap with the non-game
world. Gamers move within what the authors call the ludodrome – a mediated
space between immersion in urban simulation and a real world that is simultaneously
generated, destabilized and blurred by the effect of such gameplay.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Atkinson, RG and Willis, PB
Keywords: Computer gaming; cities; real and virtual; urban simulation
Journal or Publication Title: Information, Communication & Society
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1369-118X
DOI / ID Number: 10.1080/13691180701751007
Additional Information:

The definitive version is available online at

Copyright © 2007 Taylor & Francis

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