Designing digital games as a geographical research method

Jack Lowe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Digital games have begun to garner significant attention in geography over the past decade, as media with increasing cultural, economic and political influence globally, as well as distinct representational, affective, material and social attributes. Already provoking methodological innovations in the use of video ethnographies (Ash, 2010), covert and (auto)ethnographic play (Dornelles, 2019), alongside more conventional qualitative methods, where geographical scholarship on digital games has been lacking is in direct engagement with the processes of making these works.

This presentation will outline how I have used creative practices of digital game design and development as a geographical method for researching location-based games. Drawing on experiences from my autoethnographic PhD fieldwork, I will discuss how apprehending research questions creatively as a design brief can lead to more expansive understandings of the intricate relationships between digital technologies, embodied experiences and cultural meaning-making enacted through making and playing digital games. I will also touch on some of the challenges related to expertise, ethics and data collection presented by practice-based research on digital topics, which have been encountered and negotiated throughout my doctoral research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUsing the Digital: Methodologies, Teaching, and Everyday Practice
Subtitle of host publicationDigital Geographies Research Group Virtual Annual Symposium
Publication statusUnpublished - 1 Jul 2020
EventDigital Geographies Research Group Virtual Annual Symposium 2020 -
Duration: 1 Jul 2020 → …


OtherDigital Geographies Research Group Virtual Annual Symposium 2020
Period1/07/20 → …

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