This SSHRC Partnership Development Grant examines novel forms of cross-disciplinary and cross-sector partnerships necessary for creating world class academic research on digital media. It also intends to provide novel insight for private industry and for commercialization, as well as new venues for the innovative work of artistic and cultural organizations. This research partnership develops a digital economy trading zone that connects the diverse interests, knowledge and values from a diverse set of partners. Its focus is on a developing aspect of digital media, namely, the increasing materialization of digital media and the related interweaving of physical and virtual modes of engagement. The project therefore brings together working groups in order to develop concrete projects that provide value to each of these groups. The three groups include members from academic institutions, cultural organizations, and private SMEs, and are organized around the following inter-related themes; Space, Play, and the Self.
The grant includes as co-applicants, Professor Sara Grimes from the Faculty of Information, Professor Megan Boler from OISE, and Professor Mary-Lou Lobsinger from the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto, as well as Professors Kate Hartmanand Professor Emma Westecott from OCAD University, and Professor Jason Nolan from Ryerson University. The project runs for three years and primarily provides salaries and stipends for masters and PhD students.
IOT Theme # 2 - Play
In this working group, we will explore how digital games and other play technologies enable multi- modal practices that traverse and integrate the virtual and the material in a variety of ways. Examples of this include the production of tangible “ludic artifacts” (Tolino, 2009), the interplay of situated and digital practices within mobile gaming, the phenomenon of alternate reality games (ARG), and the incorporation of physical motion within kinetic game systems (such as Wii Sports). With the rise and spread of pervasive gaming and portable devices, digital play becomes resituated as a transitory, in- between and oftentimes liminal activity, as play is reintroduced into a broader range of the spaces and activities of everyday life. Our academic team includes Sara Grimes, an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Information who has published extensively on the political economy of games and game play, Associate Professor Jason Nolan who runs the EDGE gaming lab at Ryerson University, and collaborator Emma Westcott, an assistant professor at OCAD. Game developers Play Dynamics Inc. and HugeMonster are our private partners.