Social 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.
More recently I have worked with Katie Ellis and Mike Kent on an edited collection Gaming Disability: Disability Perspectives on Contemporary Videogames which was published late 2022 (with a 2023 publication date).
The following publications and presentations are outputs from this research area:
Ellis, K., Leaver, T and Kent, M. (Eds.) (2023) Gaming Disability: Disability Perspectives on Contemporary Video Games. Routledge.
Locke, K., & Leaver, T. (2023). Pokémon Go and Urban Accessibility. In K. Ellis, Leaver, T. & M.Kent, (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.
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.
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]