Article in Second Nature journal about The Mobile City project and urban gaming

The second issue of the RMIT journal Second Nature is about “Games, Locative & Mobile Media”. I wrote a short article about urban games and their importance for the issues we address with The Mobile City.

In this article I discern five possible ‘levels’ to understand urban games: (1) the city is often used as a model to construct an architecture of computer and video games; (2) the city itself has historically been understood in multiple ways as a game or playground; (3) pervasive games take digital games out to the streets and bridge the digital-physical distinction; (4) (serious) games are used in the process of (re)building actual cities; (5) urban games are a metaphorical lens through which to look at utopian and dystopian futures of cities. For each of these ‘levels’ I raise some relevant questions.

You can read the article here >> or download a PDF of the article (1,6 MB).

There are a number of other interesting contributions. See the journal’s table of contents.


Michiel de Lange
Michiel de Lange (1976) is a part-time Lecturer in New Media Studies at Utrecht University, and a researcher and adviser of new media and urbanism. He is trained as a cultural anthropologist, and holds a PhD in philosophy (2010) with a dissertation about mobile media technologies and urban identities. He collaborated in a locative media art & science project ( He worked for Knowledgeland, a Dutch think-tank that aims to strengthen the knowledge-based society. Here he worked on several projects at the intersection of ICTs and the city, e.g. co-organizing the Creative Capital conference. He also volunteered and worked for Cybersoek, a computer neighborhood center in Amsterdam. He is advisor e-culture at Mediafonds. Michiel is on Twitter and LinkedIn.