Edited volume “Playful Identities: The Ludification of Digital Media Cultures” available via open access

Joost Raessens writes…

We are glad to announce that the digital version of our book Playful Identities: The Ludification of Digital Media Cultures is now available online as a free download from http://www.oapen.org/search?identifier=524070. The book is available under a Creative Commons license. The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has a special program that financially supports open access publications.

When you do a search on “game”, you will see that other interesting books are freely available as well, such as: Players Unleashed ! Modding The Sims and the Culture of Gaming (Sihvonen, Tanja), More than a game: The computer game as fictional form (Atkins, Barry), Battlefields of Negotiation : Control, Agency, and Ownership in World of Warcraft (Glas, René), The Place of Play : Toys and Digital Cultures (Lauwaert, Maaike).


The editorial team (Valerie Frissen, Sybille Lammes, Michiel de Lange, Jos de Mul and Joost Raessens)


Table of Contents


1. Homo ludens 2.0: Play, media, and identity 9

Valerie Frissen, Sybille Lammes, Michiel de Lange, Jos de Mul & Joost Raessens


Part I Play

Introduction to Part I 53

Valerie Frissen, Sybille Lammes, Michiel de Lange, Jos de Mul & Joost Raessens


2. Playland: Technology, self, and cultural transformation 55

Kenneth J. Gergen


3. Spiritual play: Encountering the sacred in World of Warcraft 75

Stef Aupers


4. Playful computer interaction 93

Daniel Cermak-Sassenrath


5. Playful identity in game design and open-ended play 111

Menno Deen, Ben Schouten & Tilde Bekker


6. Breaking reality: Exploring pervasive cheating in Foursquare 131

René Glas


7. Playing with bits and bytes: The savage mind in the digital age 149

Valerie Frissen


Part II Media

Introduction to Part II 167

Valerie Frissen, Sybille Lammes, Michiel de Lange, Jos de Mul & Joost Raessens


8. Location-based mobile games: Interfaces to urban spaces 169

Adriana de Souza e Silva & Jordan Frith


9. The playful use of mobile phones and its link to social cohesion 181

Rich Ling


10. Digital cartographies as playful practices 199

Sybille Lammes


11. Ludic identities and the magic circle 211

Gordon Calleja


12. Play (for) time 225

Patrick Crogan


13. Playful identity politics: How refugee games affect the player’s identity 245

Joost Raessens


Part III Identity

Introduction to Part III 263

Valerie Frissen, Sybille Lammes, Michiel de Lange, Jos de Mul & Joost Raessens


14. Playing out identities and emotions 267

Jeroen Jansz


15. Playing with others: The identity paradoxes of the web as social network 281

Jeroen Timmermans


16. New media, play, and social identities 293

Leopoldina Fortunati


17. Playing life in the metropolis: Mobile media and identity in Jakarta 307

Michiel de Lange


18. The conflicts within the casual: The culture and identity of casual online play 321

Frans Mäyrä


19. Afterplay 337

Jos de Mul


About the authors 347

Index of Names 353

Index of Subjects 359




“An illuminating study on the increasing complexity of ludic media and technologies of the self.” – Mathias Fuchs, professor at the Centre for Digital Cultures at Leuphana University Lüneburg.


“What a brilliant, refreshing, and positively playful approach to the ludic imperative. In stark opposition to the business world’s cynical application of “gamification” to productivity or even the social do-gooders urger to make games “serious,” these essays reveal and reify play as the essence of human experience. Herein lies access to the truth: the play is the thing. These are the smartest, most articulate, and up-to-date essays on this subject, by the very people creating this field of study” – Douglas Rushkoff, author of Present Shock, Program or Be Programmed, and Playing the Future.




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