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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”.

Dr. Carolyn Birdsall is an Associate Professor at the Department of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. Carolyn works on media cultures, technology and urban environments, and knowledge production across a variety of global and historical contexts. 
Dr. Wouter van Gent is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies at the University of Amsterdam. Wouter focuses on urban geographies and the interplay between social-material changes in urban landscapes and broader (cultural) politics.
Dr. Toni Pape is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. He is the author of Figures of Time: Affect and the Television of Preemption (Duke University Press, 2019). Toni's current research project "The Aesthetics of Stealth" focuses on performances of disappearance and imperceptibility in contemporary media, especially stealth video games.
Dr. Thijs Jeursen is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Law, Economics and Governance at Utrecht University. Thijs works on political belonging and digital technologies in urban space, and engages with perspectives from media and critical data studies in order to address broader questions of inequality and urban futures.


As part of this GDC-funded project, Carolyn Birdsall, Wouter van Gent, Thijs Jeursen have published the blogpost "Everyday Gaming and Digital Urban Worlds". Read the full text here