'Timid encounters': a case study in the use of proximity-based technologies.

Abstract :

We report a comparative ethnographic study of a proximity-based mobile “video game” (Dragon Quest 9) in Japan: the Nintendo DS game terminals may ‘recognize’ one another and allow players to exchange game resources when they are close to one another. Because different communication infrastructures are available, situations of encounter are shown to be potentially seamful and to support multi-layered participation frames. Our observations show a variety of encounter formats, among whom ‘timid’ encounters are the most characteristic of the kind of sociality which may develop in urban public places turned into proximity-sensitive “hybrid ecologies” The normative order which governs such encounters is marked by a tension between the minimality expected of encounters with strangers in urban spaces, and the concern for identification and focused interaction that derives from being engaged in proximal digital communication. These empirical observations and framework of analysis offer insights for the design and the understanding of proximity-based mobile technologies.

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C. Licoppe, Yoriko Inada. 'Timid encounters': a case study in the use of proximity-based technologies.. CHI 2012, May 2012, Austin (Texas, États-Unis. pp.2759-2768. ⟨hal-00741200⟩

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