“Public” entertainment

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In the age of ubiquitous environmental gaming, when the entire city is effectively your game board, what does it mean to have a designated area in a public park set aside for playing specific games? Here a piece of public park is ready to accept the chess pieces that (presumably) live in the wooden storage boxes set between the benches off to the left (although they are locked, and who is meant to access them remains unclear). Who is this “for”, and who is meant to be able to unlock the access to this experience? Note implications for trust of storing rather than leaving out said game pieces. Consider the social/status perceptions of engaging in a “physical” game rather than a personal device-enabled and screen-based one.

While the maintenance and opportunity costs of having such game boards incorporated into the surrounding environment with paint remains low, how does this practice look in ten years from now? Is the next version of this game board a digital interface? Does it become an ad-supported experience to cover maintenance expenses of such an “upgrade”? Who decides this, and how?

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