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Playful Mobile Media Art in Australia

Authored by: Hugh Davies , Will Balmford

The Routledge Companion to Mobile Media Art

Print publication date:  July  2020
Online publication date:  July  2020

Print ISBN: 9780367197162
eBook ISBN: 9780429242816
Adobe ISBN:


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Mobile games are a powerful art form. Even before the rise of smartphones and ubiquitous computing, mobile games and youth art had a rich and entwined history. This chapter provides an overview of this history within the Australian context, in particular through examination of the growth within youth based mobile games and art from the early 2000s. It will document the impact of international programs such as the-phone-book-limited and Blast Theory residencies on the Australian Media Art sector, recalling local mobile media art showcases such as the d/Art, Mobile Journeys and Portable Worlds exhibitions, and the responding pixel.play and FutureScreen youth up-skilling workshops. The resulting projects included short films and animations, text-based and location-based games and heralded promising futures for mobile content to come. Simultaneous to the release of the smartphone platform in 2008, the Global Financial Crisis brought a sharp decline in Australia’s game studios, setting the stage for a new generation of independent games developers and mobile content makers to emerge with creative rather than commercial ambitions. With the Asia Pacific region now dominant in relation to mobile use and games production and consumption, mobile games and art now take prominent position as a major form.

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