Download my PhD dissertation “Moving Circles”

PhD defense Michiel de Lange

Tuesday November 16 2010 I successfully defended my PhD dissertation “Moving Circles: mobile media and playful identities”. I am now dr. Michiel de Lange :). A big thanks to my paranymphs: Daan de Lange (left) and Martijn de Waal (right).

You can download “Moving Circles” here (pdf, 3.6 MB).

Versions suitable for e-readers are available as well:

* epub (epub file, 1.8 MB)
* epub – zipped (zipped epub file, 1.8 MB)
* mobi (mobi file, 1.8 MB)
* mobi zipped (zipped mobi file, 1.6 MB)

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Netherlands License [note: this is a different license from the general content of this blog].

 

Table of Contents

List of figures 9

Acknowledgements 11

Introduction. Identity, mobile media, and play 13

i. Identity and the mobile phone: in search of another mediation 13
ii. Research question, arguments, and aims 23
iii. Approach and outline 24

1. Setting the stage: mobile media, narrative identity, and play 27

1.1 Understanding mobile media technologies 27

1.1.1 Four dimensions of mobile media 27

1.1.2 Approaches to the relation between technology and identity 28

1.1.3 What is ‘mobile’ about mobile media? 32

1.2 The storytelling self: narrative identity 35

1.2.1 Idem and ipse identity 37

1.2.2 Threefold mimesis 39

1.2.3 Narrative identity: character and promise 41

1.3 In search of play 46

1.3.1 Play and games: the classics 47

1.3.2 Game, play, playability and playfulness 52

1.3.3 Communicative play 54

1.3.4 Play as mediating metaphors: life as play 55

1.4 Connecting media and play 60

1.4.1 Media ambiguities 60

1.4.2 Pleasure, humor, and joking 63

1.4.3 Media as playful learning spaces 64

1.5 Conclusion: outline of the play framework 65

2. Entering the stage: mobile media and modernity in Jakarta 69

2.1 Handphone mania in Indonesia 69

2.2 The shaping of modernity in urban Jakarta 72

2.2.1 Jakarta’s metropolitan setting 72

2.2.2 Jakarta as the center of the modern nation 74

2.2.3 Unity in diversity? 79

2.3 From old media to new media: a short media history of Indonesia 82

2.3.1 From old media… 82

2.3.2 …To new media 83

2.3.3 Physical nodes of new media 88

2.3.4 New media’s new modernity 90

2.4 The ‘production’ of the handphone 92

2.4.1 Market and numbers 93

2.4.2 Wartel as precursors to mobile telephony 95

2.4.3 CDMA technology: bridging high-tech and low-tech 96

2.4.4 The ‘design’ of the mobile phone 99

2.5 Conclusion: four play levels 102

3. Playing the stage: mobile media, mobility and identity in Jakarta 105

3.1 From gengsi to gaul: how to become a proper handphone user 105

3.1.1 Handphone gengsi 105

3.1.2 Handphone gaul 109

3.2 Three handphone mobilities 114

3.2.1 Corporeal mobility 114

3.2.2 Socio-economic mobility 117

3.2.3 Imaginative mobility 119

3.3 Moving forward: contesting modernities 121

3.3.1 Conceptualizing place: locality and the global 122

3.3.2 Spatializing identities 125

3.3.3 Contesting mobile media modernity 128

3.3.4 Reconciling differences 133

3.4 Conclusion: four play types 135

4. Locating the media: mobile media and urban plays 137

4.1 In search of locative media 137

4.1.1 Location-based technologies 137

4.1.2 Locative media practices 140

4.1.3 Locative media classification 145

4.2 The city and the media 151

4.2.1 What is a city? Three approaches 152

4.2.2 The media city, or the death of the city? 160

4.2.3 Mobile media as interfaces to hybrid space 163

4.2.4 Why the city? 166

4.3 Bliin: A locative playground in hybrid space 167

4.3.1 A playground for boundary play 167

4.3.2 Playing with spatiotemporal boundaries 169

4.3.3 Playing with social boundaries 175

4.3.4 Playing with boundaries of the self 177

4.3.5 One more thing: the end of serendipity? 182

4.4 Conclusion: playing the boundaries 183

5. Playing the media: the playful qualities of mobile media 185

5.1 Play on the mobile 185

5.1.1 Casual games 185

5.1.2 Pervasive games 188

5.1.3 Mobile play interfaces 188

5.2 Play with the mobile 189

5.2.1 Toys 189

5.2.2 Mobile agôn: mastery, competition and pleasure 191

5.2.3 Mobile alea: fate, chance, and surprise 195

5.2.4 Mobile mimicry: creativity, pretense, fun; and the conditional order 195

5.2.5 Mobile ilinx: disorientation, thrill-seeking, and escape 200

5.3 Play through the mobile 203

5.3.1 From Kula to mobile gifting 203

5.3.2 Types of mobile gifts 207

5.3.3 Differences between old and new gifting 212

5.4 Play by the mobile 214

5.4.1 Tyrannies of choice and speed; colonization of private and public life 216

5.4.2 New power mechanisms: from surveillance to sousveillance, identity profiling 218

5.4.3 Ontological doubt and ludification: between cynicism and engagement 222

5.5 Conclusion: conditional play 227

6. Conclusion. Playing the self: narrative and playful identities 229

6.1 What narrative does not tell: play critique of narrative identity theory 229

6.1.1 Narrative’s closed circularity and sedentary ethics 229

6.1.2 Narrative’s simplified view of culture 232

6.1.3 Narrative’s neglect of spatiality and becoming 234

6.1.4 From narrative reference and representation to playful conditional performances 236

6.2 The story, the mobile, and the play: linking narrative and playful identities 242

6.2.1 Play1: prefiguring life as play and game 244

6.2.2 Play2: configuring life as play and game 247

6.2.3 Play3: reconfiguring life as play and game 254

Literature 259

Replay (Nederlandstalige samenvatting) 279

Curriculum vitae 287