Christian Licoppe is Head of the Social Science Department and Professor of Sociology at Telecom Paris-Tech. Christian Licoppe has been researching the influence and potentials of locative media and games on ‘real’ urban environments. From a sociological standpoint, he has looked at the technological side of urban space, combining ‘real’ versus virtual worlds and seeing whether this combination offers a new way of social interaction. He argues that these new forms of social media can produce new environments of interaction, where urban public places can transform into ‘hybrid ecologies’.


Lezing UU44

Picture by Fred Ernst


“Locative media can be defined as media in which people interact with some kind of locative awareness. In other words, locative media always involves some configurative media in which people disclose their location.”

“A hybrid ecology manages and incorporates the interplay between a digital positional awareness of space in relation to a real, physical experience of place.”

“After all, in both places, the norm is to not address strangers in public places. The main difference between the way in which the game was played in Tokyo and Paris thus lies in the way that people made exceptions to the rule.”

"The research has shown that multiple types of encounter are possible in hybrid ecologies. Digital encounters can take on many different forms in proximity-aware games and these can potentially change behavioural and mobility practices in urban public places. Location clearly has a great influence on the behavioural patterns when it comes to these games, as seen in both the Japan and France cases. The potential of these games can therefore really give us a new understanding of urban surroundings and its use."

The report of the lecture and expert meeting held at the Utrecht University on October 13 and 14, 2o11. can be downloaded here.