Process and Possibilities Associated with the Development of a Mobile App that Explores Culture, Place, and the Promise of Play
Parker, Edward Wright
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Parker, Edward Wright
Audiences are engaging with culture and the arts in digital and analog formats through a variety of modes and in a variety of roles in large numbers. By exploring the wide variety of user generated media works and collaborative digital projects and communities associated with today’s participatory culture, it is arguable that participants are engaging with arts and culture more than ever, as artists, contributors, and curators, in a dual consumer-producer role. This research project aims to establish a pathway to participation in local culture for a broad audience through the design and development of a mobile application that can be used to collect digital artifacts that represent one’s personal culture and, in turn, one of the many aspects of a community’s larger, collective culture. Cultureboard, the mobile application I have developed for this research project, enables participants to digitally capture images, videos, and sound recordings of various cultural artifacts and phenomena that can be found in the community – particularly artifacts that represent the things that are meaningful to a participant’s personal culture within the contexts of narrative, time, meaning, and place. The Cultureboard mobile application presents participants with opportunities to engage with participatory culture through storytelling, mapping, and discussion and collaboration via social networks. It also leverages gamification, or the process of incorporating multiplayer video game design mechanics and principles, to enhance the user experience while encouraging participation through friendly collaboration, competition, and play. This research project will include use cases that detail possibilities for ways to utilize the Cultureboard mobile application as a tool for collaborative learning, cultural mapping, augmented reality gaming, and anthropological, archeological, or ethnographic research. This project will also discuss ways that the Cultureboard mobile application could be used to promote participation at traditional arts and cultural organizations and events as they relate to each individual participant based on region and cultural interests.