Saturday, 7 May 2016

 New book: Urban Gamification

Today, one year has passed since the workshop "Mettiamo in Gioco la Città" was organised by my colleagues from CIRCe and myself (you can find all the materials online, videos, photos, pics, abstracts... alas only in Italian). After the success of the workshop, we decided to continue the project and to dedicate a book to the challenging topic of urban gamification. For a happy coincidence, today is also the day in which that book is being published!
This work is part of the series "I Saggi di Lexia" and contains chapters by Ugo Volli, Peppino Ortoleva, Gabriele Ferri, Agata Meneghelli, Mauro Salvador, Massimo Leone, Fabio Viola, Vincenzo Idone Cassone, Simona Stano, Federica Turco, Gabriele Marino, Elsa Soro, Eleonora Chiais, Alessandra Chiappori and Marta Milia.

Here a brief preview in English:

In the last few years the boundary that separates play and everyday reality is becoming more and more thin and permeable. The importance of playfulness in society is greater than ever. This phenomenon, called ludification, seems to answer the need to resemantise (i.e. to give a new meaning) times and spaces that the digital era made indifferent and de-structured. Play appears to be able to give structure, rhythm and direction to time and space - in other words, to make sense of them. Therefore the city - the quintessential human environment, the place of experience and of the construction of autobiographies - undergoes acts of urban gamification, practices that aim at re-writing the city by the means of play. The latter is a powerful tool to act on urban areas: it is able to trace paths, to give value to places, to transform citizens into players. Ranging from flash mobs to urban games, from locative technologies to street art, playfulness invade the cities, bringing along new strategies, new values, new ways of being citizens and new interpretations of the urban areas. This book offers a collection of papers from scholars, experts and professionals that approach urban gamification in all its nuances, using the tools of semiotics, philosophy, media studies and, last but not least, game design.


Wednesday, 4 May 2016


I know I should be writing my dissertation, right now, instead of playing with photoshop. But today is a nerd festivity, May the Forth - keep it holy - and therefore the perfect occasion to launch some silly projects about Star Wars.
So, well, here it is: JangoTravels a microblog dedicated to our favourite bounty hunter and to his travels around the galaxy. 
Toyrism is a new, extremely nerdy, trend that consists in bringing some toys along, when you travel, and take pictures of them. I stumble upon this phenomenon while reading Kati Heljakka's wonderful work on toys and adult play and I thought it was exellent. And... yep, it looks definitely like something we saw in Le Fabuleux destin d'Amelie Poulain...

I decided to mix this idea with another of my passions: miniatures. I always liked the resemantisation that happens when you deal with small scale objects. If you place a toy, a miniature, on ground and you look at the room from its perspective, the world will look like a pretty weird place. Table legs will become columns or towers, the carpet a forest (as Sir Terry Pratchett thought us) and so on. It is a playful practice, but also deeply semiotic - as it deals with the meaning that we give to everyday objects.
The child of these two passions is JangoTravel, where I put together my poor knowledge about photography, my poor skills with photoshop, a couple of Star Wars spaceships from Micro Machines and a lot of stupid hashtags.
Don't know about you, but I'm having fun.

May the 4th be with you !