Keywords

Queer, quare, cruising, flaneur, phoneur, urban mobile games, location based games, documentary games, games as art, dangerous by design, pedestrian, public transportation, walkability, performance art, hashtags, instagram, interactive exhibition, social photography, visual sociology, urban sociology, urban studies, co presence, cyborg, body weapon, geosociability, mobility

Abstract

GAYME is a transmedia story-telling world that I have created to conceptually explore the dynamics of queering game design through the development of varying game prototypes. The final iteration of GAYME is @deadquarewalking'. It is a documentary game and a performance art installation that documents a carless, gay/queer/quare man's journey on Halloween to get to and from one of Orlando's most well-known gay clubs - the Parliament House Resort. "The art of cruising" city streets to seek out queer/quare companionship particularly amongst gay, male culture(s) is well-documented in densely, populated cities like New York, San Francisco and London, but not so much in car-centric, urban environments like Orlando that are less oriented towards pedestrians. Cruising has been and continues to be risky even in pedestrian-friendly cities but in Orlando cruising takes on a whole other dimension of danger. In 2011-2012, The Advocate magazine named Orlando one of the gayest cities in America (Breen, 2012). Transportation for America (2011) also named the Orlando metropolitan region the most dangerous city in the country for pedestrians. Living in Orlando without a car can be deadly as well as a significant barrier to connecting with other people, especially queer/quare people, because of Orlando's car-centric design. In Orlando, cars are sexy. At the same time, the increasing prevalence in gay, male culture(s) of geo-social, mobile phone applications using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and location aware services, such as Grindr (Grindr, LLC., 2009) and even FourSquare (Crowley and Selvadurai, 2009) and Instagram (Systrom and Krieger, 2010), is shifting the way gay/queer/quare Orlandoans co-create social and sexual networks both online and offline. Urban and sub-urban landscapes have transformed into hybrid "techno-scapes" overlaying "the electronic, the emotional and the social with the geographic and the physical" (Hjorth, 2011). With or without a car, gay men can still geo-socially cruise Orlando's car-centric, street life with mobile devices. As such emerging media has become more pervasive, it has created new opportunities to quarely visualize Orlando's "technoscape" through phone photography and hashtag metadata while also blurring lines between the artist and the curator, the player and the game designer. This project particularly has evolved to employ game design as an exhibition tool for the visualization of geo-social photography through hashtag play. Using hashtags as a game mechanic generates metadata that potentially identifies patterns of play and "ways of seeing" across player experiences as they attempt to make meaning of the images they encounter in the game. @deadquarewalking also demonstrates the potential of game design and geo-social, photo-sharing applications to illuminate new ways of documenting and witnessing the urban landscapes that we both collectively and uniquely inhabit. 'In Irish culture, "quare" can mean "very" or "extremely" or it can be a spelling of the rural or Southern pronunciation of the word "queer." Living in the American Southeast, I personally relate more to the term "quare" versus "queer." Cultural theorist E. Patrick Johnson (2001) also argues for "quareness" as a way to question the subjective bias of whiteness in queer studies that risks discounting the lived experiences and material realities of people of color. Though I do not identify as a person of color and would be categorized as white or European American, "quareness" has an important critical application for considering how Orlando's urban design is intersectionally racialized, gendered and classed.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2014

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Moshell, Jack

Degree

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)

College

College of Arts and Humanities

Department

Visual Arts and Design

Degree Program

Emerging Media; Digital Media

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0005214

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0005214

Language

English

Release Date

May 2014

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Subjects

Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities

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