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Social, casual, and mobile gaming

A-FrontSocial gaming (games played via social networks) and casual games (games usually played on mobile devices, such as the iPhone) are a significantly different form of gaming from more recognisable videogames, such as MMORPGs, first-person shooters and so on. As part of an ARC-funded linkage project, I explored Zynga’s Farmville and Rovio’s Angry Birds as significant exemplars of social and casual gaming respectively. Building on this research, Michele Willson and I edited a collection published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2016 entitled Social, Casual and Mobile Games: The Changing Gaming Landscape, which includes my chapter on ‘Angry Birds as a social network market’. Since then I have continued to be interested in the way mobile games have developed, with a focus on Pokémon GO and augmented reality games. Most recently I have worked with Katie Ellis and Mike Kent on an edited collection about gaming and people with disabilities, which is currently in production with Routledge and should be available late 2022.

The following publications and presentations are outputs from this research area:

Publications

[Forthcoming, in production.] Ellis, K., Kent, M. & Leaver, T. (Eds.) Gaming Disability: Disability Perspectives on Contemporary Video Games. Routledge.

Locke, K., & Leaver, T. (forthcoming, accepted October 2020). Pokémon Go and Urban Accessibility. In K. Ellis, M. Kent, & T. Leaver (Eds.), Gaming Disability: Disability perspectives on contemporary video games. Routledge.

Peaty, G., & Leaver, T. (2020). The familiar places we dream about: Pokémon GO and nostalgia during a global pandemic. Australasian Journal of Popular Culture, 9(2), 127–143. https://doi.org/10.1386/ajpc_00023_1 [Open Access Preprint]

Leaver, T., & Willson, M. (Eds.). (2016). Social, Casual and Mobile Games: The Changing Gaming Landscape. London and New York: Bloomsbury Academic. [Open Access]

Leaver, T., & Willson, M. (2016). Social networks, casual games and mobile devices: the shifting contexts of gamers and gaming. In T. Leaver & M. Willson (Eds.), Social, Casual and Mobile Games: The Changing Gaming Landscape. London and New York: Bloomsbury Academic. [Open Access]

Leaver, T. (2016). Angry Birds as a Social Network Market. In T. Leaver & M. Willson (Eds.), Social, Casual and Mobile Games: The Changing Gaming Landscape. London and New York: Bloomsbury Academic. [Open Access]

Willson, M., & Leaver, T. (2015). Zynga’s Farmville, Social Games and the ethics of Big Data Mining. Communication Research and Practice, 1(2). http://doi.org/10.1080/22041451.2015.1048039 [Open Access Preprint]

Leaver, T., & Lloyd, C. (2015). Seeking Transparency in Locative Media. In R. Wilken & G. Goggin (Eds.), Locative Media (pp. 162–174). London & New York: Routledge.

Leaver, T., Willson, M., & Balnaves, M. (2012). Transparency and the Ubiquity of Information Filtration? Ctrl-Z: New Media Philosophy, 1(2). [Open Access]

Balnaves, M., M. Willson, and T. Leaver (2012), “Entering Farmville: Finding Value in Social Games” in C. Anyanwu, K. Green, J. Sykes (Eds), Refereed Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association conference: Communicating Change and Changing Communication in the 21st Century, ISSN 1448-4331.

Conference Presentations

Leaver, T. (2019) ‘What Made Pokémon Go? Mobile Games, Casual Players and the Importance of Location’. Keynote address to the U40 China-Australia Summer School/Symposium, Centre for Culture & Technology and Tencent Research Centre, Curtin University.

Leaver, T. What Makes Pokémon Go?, Directions and Destinations Symposium, Curtin University, Perth, Australia, 1 September 2016, http://www.slideshare.net/Tama/what-makes-pokmon-go [Mp3 Audio Recording]

Willson, M. and Leaver, T. ‘Farm Villains? The Ethics of Social Media Data Mining’, presented at the International Telecommunications Society 6th Africa-Asia-Australasia Regional Conference, Curtin University, Perth, 7 August 2013.

Leaver, T. ‘Situating Mobile Casual Games as a Social Network Market with Rovio’s Angry Birds as a Case Study’ presented at the International Telecommunications Society 6th Africa-Asia-Australasia Regional Conference, Curtin University, Perth, 7 August 2013.

Willson, M.  and Leaver, T.  ‘FarmVillains? Social Games, Data Mining and the Social Media Contradiction’, Australian and New Zeland Communication Association (ANZCA) Annual Conference, Fremantle, Western Australia, 4 July 2013.

Leaver, T. ‘Angry Birds as a Social Network Market’, Social, Casual, Mobile: Changing Games ANZCA PreConference, Perth, Western Australia, 2 July 2013.

Press

Leaver, T. interviewed by Tina Altieri, Perth Pokémon Go Craze, Today Tonight Perth, Channel 7 Perth, 6.40pm, 12 July 2016 [TV] https://youtu.be/ayc5hhrdj70

Leaver, T. interviewed by Rosanna Mangiarelli, Smartphone App Pokémon Go, Today Tonight Adelaide, Channel 7 Adelaide, 6.34pm, 12 Jul 2016. [TV]

Interviewed by Caitlin Neinaber, All Things Pokemon Go, Breakfast with Caitlin, RTRFM, 8.45am, 12 July 2016. [Radio]

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